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March 19, 2008

Ominous Developments in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

palestinian-police force.jpg

In recent weeks, three ominous developments underscored the precarious future of Israeli-Palestinian relations. On March 19, the New York Times reported on the alarming results of a poll of Palestinian attitudes toward Israel. The poll, administered this past week by Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, shows overwhelming approval of the murder of the Jewish seminary students last week, broad support for continuing the rocket barrage on Israeli cities and a desire to end negotiations with Israel. According to Shikaki,

The anger that this poll is registering is about equal to that at the very height of the second intifada.

The increasing belligerence of the Palestinian public accompanies the ongoing efforts of Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon to upgrade their rocket arsenals. The Israeli city of Ashkelon is now within range of Gazan rockets.

Meanwhile, seemingly oblivious to the portentous trends in Palestinian public opinion, the international community proceeds full speed ahead with its announced plan to expand the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and enhance their operational capabilities.

One can see why pollster Shikaki concludes,

I am very worried about what is coming.

Posted by SS at March 19, 2008 10:11 AM


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