Israel: April 6, 2002

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: Under pressure from the United States, the Israeli army now plans to be out of Palestinian territory within a week, rather than staying another three weeks. Six of the eight major Palestinian towns have already been occupied by the army. The army has been rounding up or killing as many known Palestinian terrorists, and searching for weapons, bomb making equipment, documents and other material used by the terrorist organizations. While this will not cut off the supply of recruits for terrorist attacks (using suicide bombers or not), it will make it more difficult to organize and carry out such attacks. Israeli intelligence has collected a lot of information over the years about individuals and locations involved in terrorist operations. Now that the army has free access (after fighting past any armed Palestinians in the way) to Palestinian territory, they can go in and search buildings and go after individuals. Over 1500 Palestinians have been arrested so far, and thousands of weapons seized. Large quantities of explosives and bomb making equipment has also been taken. The Israeli military operation is very popular with the voters, recent opinion polls showing 72 percent in favor. Since the military offensive against the Palestinians began, the terrorist attacks have stopped.