IDF Cautiously Optimistic about Truce

(Jerusalem Post) Matthew Gutman - The IDF cautiously supports a new hudna (temporary cease-fire) and is confident of Hamas's and Islamic Jihad's interest in maintaining quiet for up to six months, a senior security source said Wednesday. The key to a cease-fire is compliance of Fatah/Tanzim-related terrorist groups like the Aksa Martyrs Brigades. Hizballah and Iran have taken up "a massive role" among local terrorist cells, greasing the logistical wheels of terrorist operations and even providing operational support for most Fatah/Tanzim-related groups. Any attempt at a cease-fire hinges on Arafat's success at leading Fatah away from Iran. The source said Arafat has managed to consolidate power and retain his hold on the PLO's finances. He noted that one of the great faults of former PA prime minister Mahmoud Abbas's hudna was that "it smelled of the West, and of the U.S.'s dictate." The new ceasefire plan is considered a grassroots initiative arising from the Palestinians.

2003-11-20 00:00:00

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