IDF Experts Say Intifada Violence Has Passed Its Peak

(Ha'aretz) - Amos Harel Senior IDF sources think the approaching American offensive against Iraq will bring heavy pressure on Palestinians to cease all acts of terrorism against Israel, according to a recent analysis by the Defense Ministry. The IDF believes Arafat is still not interested in a genuine cease-fire and is doing everything in his power to undercut any sort of cohesion in the Cairo talks between the Palestinian factions. Arafat remains "an effective leader" insofar as he is capable of neutralizing any efforts by Palestinians to engineer a "quiet overthrow" aimed at ending the violence and removing him from the center of power. After an attack on Iraq, IDF sources believe the Americans will propose alternatives to Arafat for Palestinian leadership. IDF analysts believe the peak of the violence has passed, although serious security concerns and warnings will continue as efforts are made to carry out more Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel. They don't believe the conflict will end in 2003, but they do think there is now an opportunity for achieving calm.

2003-01-27 00:00:00

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