While Israeli society is deeply concerned about the prospect of a civil war over the government’s planned pullout from Gaza and part of the West Bank this summer, nearly six in 10 Americans are unaware of the proposed disengagement.And in a sign that efforts to improve Israel’s image need to be stepped up, Americans have no idea the Gaza pullout was initiated by Israel to improve the prospects of peace with the Palestinians.
The powerful roadside bomb that blew apart an American armored diplomatic vehicle in the Gaza Strip killing three Americans and injuring a fourth Wednesday is likely to undermine efforts to bring international peacekeepers or monitors to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Just hours after a suicide bomber killed at least four Israelis outside a shopping mall in the northern Israeli coastal city of Netanya, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon signaled his determination to go ahead with the withdrawal from Gaza by sealing it off to non-residents.
Ogen Drori wants to stay in the West Bank so bad, he's asking Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for that privilege.
Drori lives in one of four settlements slated to be dismantled and forcibly evacuated this summer, and is circulating a petition among fellow residents asking Abbas to grant them political asylum so they may remain in their homes. He said the petition has 10 signatures from five families.
Less than three months before the Gaza disengagement begins, the Israeli government's point man in the process spoke this week of the quandary for the administration as it faces resistance from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and settlers who have been ordered to leave their homes.
Both the police and demonstrators declared victory this week following Monday's anti-disengagement sit-in demonstrations, termed a dry run for later this summer, that blocked 40 intersections in several cities and resulted in more than 300 arrests.
Ashkelon, Israel— Fatah fighters newly exiled from Gaza this week lay wounded in the orthopedic ward of Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital under the guard of M-16-toting Israeli soldiers, who consider them terrorists. Despite that, these fighters consider the gunmen of Hamas a greater threat.
“In spite of the animosity between us, the Jews are more sympathetic and more humane toward us than Hamas,” explained Atef Hilles, 31.
In U.S.:Washington — Will the Middle East firmament tremble when President Bill Clinton’s helicopter sets down next week at the Gaza International Airport?
Will a troubling new era in U.S.-Palestinian relations begin with Clinton’s precedent-shattering address to 1,500 Palestinian officials, including many former terrorists, assembled to “confirm” an earlier decision striking out offensive portions of the PLO charter?
After Sharon visits the Temple Mount, violence erupts in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel and divisions between American Jews widen.
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The eruption of violence in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel that began with last week’s Temple Mount tour by Likud leader Ariel Sharon could widen bitter divisions over the Middle East peace process among American Jews.