The Army Wants to be on Page 19

(Ha'aretz) Amos Harel - Yesterday's relatively high number of Palestinian casualties momentarily refocused attention on the territories. Three Israelis have been killed so far in December, compared to 44 in November and 22 in October. That's the result of the enormous pressure on the wanted men - and on the Palestinian population among which they live. In the last four months, more than 50 terrorists have been killed in the West Bank. In Gaza, 220 have been killed since Operation Defensive Shield in the spring. In internal army meetings, Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon is talking about the need for a decisive victory and 2003 is being described as "the year of decision." It won't only be a by-product of the American assault in Iraq, but rather, he hopes, the result of the ongoing pressure on the Palestinians, including more arrests and many more demolitions of terrorist homes. Since September, 78 houses have been demolished and the army believes it is the most effective deterrent it has found to foil terrorism.

2002-12-27 00:00:00

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