Israel: May 23, 2003

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Israeli raids and Palestinian terror attacks continue. The death toll is now 3,260 (2,458 Palestinian and 742 Israeli). The Palestinian tactic of putting their bomb making workshops and safe houses in residential areas is not providing any immunity from raids. The Israelis continue to come after the terrorists, and try to keep the civilian casualties down, not avoid them entirely. Israeli leaders are under tremendous public pressure to keep the terrorist attacks down. Although over 300 attacks have been aborted or intercepted in the last few months. So far this year, the army has destroyed 129 Palestinian homes in the West Bank and 45 in Gaza, because a family member was a suicide bomber. The Israelis say this has caused many families to oppose kinsmen from becoming suicide bombers.  

Israel insists that the Palestinian terrorist organizations disarm before they agree to setting up a Palestinian state. For the moment, both the terrorist organizations and the Palestinian Authority preach, in their official documents, the destruction of  Israel. The Palestinian Authority, in its non-Arabic pronouncements, tells a different story, agreeing to the existence of Israel. Opinion surveys in Palestinian areas still shows a majority of the people backing the use of violence against Israel. 

 

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