Israel: December 2, 2001

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The weekend violence has brought the death toll to 1,043 (799 Palestinians and 222 Israelis.) Adjusting for the different sized populations, that would be like 9,500 dead Americans (using Israeli population and losses) or 74,000 dead Americans (using Palestinian population and losses.) The Palestinian radical groups, especially Hamas (which took credit for the weekend suicide bombings that killed 25 Israelis and wounded 210), are being labeled part of the international terrorism threat that America is now at war with. But Hamas doesn't care and it's difficult to root them out since they have the support of most of the three million Palestinians living in the Palestinian territories. Hamas, and other radical groups, have made 29 suicide attacks so far this year. The latest attacks were in retaliation for Israel killing a Hamas leader last month. In the wake of the violence, Yesser Arafat ordered Palestinian Authority police to arrest dozens of known Hamas members. But this did not register with Israelis, who note that these arrests have been made before, and the prisoners are usually released within days. Arafat acts because he knows each such Hamas attack loses him support from non-Moslem nations (especially in Europe) that provide him with diplomatic leverage against Israel. But this time, it appears that the Europeans, usually big Palestinian supporters, are really ticked off. 

 

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