Israel: February 21, 2002


: The Israeli strategy appears to remain efforts to remove Yasser Arafat as head of the Palestinian Authority, and see if his replacement will be more capable of enforcing a new peace agreement. In the last few weeks, suicide bombings have increased (although a lot of them have been stopped by Israeli security troops), as well as gun battles between Israeli troops and Palestinian police. In the last week, Israel has had 13 soldiers killed in battles with Palestinians (who have lost 24 dead). Since September, 2000, 986 Palestinians and 281 Israelis have been killed. The Israelis are going to use more commando teams to go after specific Palestinian groups and individuals. As far as the Israelis are concerned, they are now at war with several Palestinian radical organizations.

Palestinian police arrested the three Palestinians who killed the Israeli tourism minister last October. The Israelis have long demanded the arrest of the three suspects, and now that the Palestinians have done it, there is hope for more cooperation between the Israelis and Palestinians.