by Joshua Mitnick |
Eli Sinai, Gaza Strip — As Israel’s army began pulling out of Palestinian cities this week and terrorist groups pledged a three-month cease-fire, Israelis in this northern Gaza Strip settlement could find little evidence that the daily fighting going on just outside their window was really over.
“It still hasn’t proven itself yet,” Sarah Kahani, a nursery school teacher, told The Jewish Week. “I want to hope but I’m not 100 percent.”
by Stewart Ain and Joshua Mitnick |
Staff Writer and Israel Correspondent
Although Israel has reportedly agreed to curtail its policy of targeted attacks against Palestinian terrorists to foster the chances of a limited cease-fire that would halt two weeks of violence, Israeli analysts were skeptical it would work.
"It lasts a couple of days until a crazy sets off a bomb," said David Newman, chairman of the department of politics and government at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
Fifty-five years ago this week, a flat-bottom ship that had conveyed American troops during World War II pulled into the Mediterranean waters near Kfar Vitkin, 23 miles north of Tel Aviv, and became a black mark in Israeli history.
The Altalena is little known to young Israelis; the Hebrew anniversary of its arrival and eventual destruction went almost unnoticed last week.
Israeli analysts were divided this week on Israelís military response to Sunday's Hamas attacks that killed five Israeli soldiers, with some arguing that the reprisal assaults set back the peace process while others insisting it will help in the long run.
"Israel tried to weaken Hamas and to help Abu Mazen," said Ephraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.
The intifada took Irena Stanislavsky's only son. Now Israel, mired in a deep recession, is taking back its pledge to help her financially.
Stanislavsky, a Russian immigrant, is one of the forgotten victims of the grinding intifada, now approaching its third anniversary. And there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Israelis like her, ones whose scars are emotional, not physical, and will not disappear even if the peace process takes root.
by Joshua Mitnick |
Gaza City — Hours before narrowly escaping an assassination attempt by the Israeli military, Hamas leader Abdel Azziz Rantisi dismissed the U.S.-sponsored Middle East peace plan and claimed that most Palestinians opposed it as well.
“It’s a big mistake. You won’t find any Palestinian who will tell you otherwise,” said the Hamas hardliner in an interview with The Jewish Week Monday at his home here on the Gaza Strip.