End of the Armed Intifada?

(Ha'aretz)Amos Harel - Does the new reality in the region herald the end of the armed intifada? Despite the declaration by Abu Mazen about the failure of the armed struggle, the answer, so far, is no. Hamas will step up or reduce terrorism according to its own interests in the near future, but will not desist from it. The more trouble it makes for Abu Mazen, the more political concessions it will be able to extort from him in order to achieve its goal of a status equal to that of the PLO in the post-Arafat PA. In addition, Col. Yuval Bazak, commander of the Samaria Brigade, notes that eight attempts to dispatch suicide bombers from Nablus have been thwarted in the past six weeks. Fatah is behind most of these efforts, with instructions and funding coming from Hizballah in Lebanon. Bazak reports "an intensification of attempts to mount attacks" since Arafat's death. The investigation of the terrorist attacks in Sinai last September showed Egypt that its intelligence deployment there is incapable of providing even basic information about events. Under its nose, different networks of extremist Egyptian Muslim groups, most of them offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood, operated freely in Sinai.

2004-12-20 00:00:00

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