Is a Halt in Killings a Truce?

(New York Times) Greg Myre - * A month after it was reached, is the truce between the Israelis and Palestinians gaining traction or starting to slip? Measuring by the sharp drop in deaths, there is cause for optimism. But factoring in the almost daily bombings and shootings that fail or are headed off, there is reason for skepticism. * Israel is reluctant to pull back its troops from Palestinian areas in the West Bank because it says the Palestinian security forces have not proved that they can prevent attacks or that they are willing to try. * "The Palestinians have taken some steps," said Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Sharon. "They are reorganizing their security forces, they have deployed the forces, and have arrested some small-time operators." Gissin added, however: "They have to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. This means making arrests, interrogating people, and putting them on trial." On Saturday, another Sharon aide, Assaf Shariv, said of Abbas: "We are waiting to see what he will do. So far, it is not a lot." * Israel says it does not believe that Abbas can bring an end to Palestinian attacks through dialogue alone. The solution, Israel says, is direct confrontation.

2005-03-07 00:00:00

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