Intifada's Legacy at Year 4: A Morass of Faded Hopes

(New York Times) Steven Erlanger - Palestinians refer to the Israeli victory over the Arab nations in 1948 as al nakba, or the catastrophe. Some Palestinians, who thought they were on the brink of statehood four years ago, now say that the second intifada has been a second nakba. An analysis of Palestinian administration published last week by the International Crisis Group, an independent Brussels-based organization, found that "today's Palestinian predicament is decidedly domestic.'' "Recent power struggles, armed clashes, and demonstrations do not pit Palestinians against Israelis so much as Palestinians against each other; the chaos is a product not solely of Israel's policies, but of Palestinian ones as well. The political system is close to the breaking point, paralyzed and unable to make basic decisions." At least 74% of 130 attempted or successful suicide bombings originating from the West Bank so far this year were "directly controlled by Hizballah's apparatus in Beirut, with Iranian money, know-how, and weapons systems," a senior Israeli military officer said. A suicide bombing effort costs about $4,000, including payments, usually negotiated in advance, to cover the expense to a family of a funeral for the bomber, as well as payments to those willing to provide transport, documents, or shelter.

2004-10-04 00:00:00

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