The government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon came under fire at home this week for allegedly disregarding Palestinian civilians in its zeal to combat terrorists, and from the United Nations, which called upon Israel to remove its security barrier that Arabs call a land grab.
The controversy within Israel arose after the Israeli military launched one of the largest series of air strikes against terrorists in the Gaza Strip on Monday. Five air strikes were conducted against suspected Palestinian terrorists and a weapons factory in Gaza City.
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.
When Natan Sharansky, the ex-Soviet refusenik turned hard-line Israeli cabinet minister, visited several local universities here last month, he brought a pointed message: Yasir Arafat, he told students at Columbia University and New York University, is an unrepentant ìdictatorî who is an ominous presence dooming peace and must be removed.
Israel’s surprise air strike in Syria Sunday on what it described as a Palestinian terrorist training camp may not be the last, Israeli officials warned this week as they pursued a new way to halt terror attacks that claimed another 19 Israeli lives at a restaurant in Haifa last weekend.
Much to the chagrin of the Israel's Foreign Ministry, an Israeli group is planning to display at a Jewish expo here in December the skeletal remains of Egged bus No. 32, blown apart by a Palestinian suicide bomber in Jerusalem a year ago killing 19 and wounding more than 70.
A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Jonathan Peled, said Zaka, the Orthodox organization of volunteers who retrieve body parts after terrorist attacks, "approached us and asked us our opinion" about such a display at the biannual Jewish Expo Dec. 20-22 at the Javits Center.
Even as the Israeli cabinet decided Wednesday to approve construction of a security barrier in the heart of the West Bank, it opted to delay voting to connect the barrier to the main security fence for fear of jeopardizing American aid.
The 18-4 vote was widely expected because the compromise allows the government breathing room to work out American objections and yet sends a message to the settlers that they are not being abandoned. The fence is to be east of the large Jewish settlements of Ariel and Kedumim, but will not be continuous in early stages.