Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Yesterday the Jenin branch of Islamic Jihad carried out a suicide bombing which threatens to unravel the truce between Israel and the militant Palestinian groups. The group said they were protesting Israel's plans to release only a few hundred Palestinian prisoners. However, coming as it does at the start of President Bush's Africa trip, I wonder if it might be an attempt to unravel the truce before the peace process develops further momentum and the PA starts gaining the tools necessary to crack down the IJ, Hamas, and other terrorist organizations. The current negotiations are basically George Bush's creation, with help from the likes of Egypt and Jordan. He needs to send Condoleezza Rice, his personal agent in foreign policy, to the region immediately to show that he is still monitoring the situation and willing to take action.

Incidentally, on the Palestinian side of things, , Mahmud Abbas resigned from the Fatah Central Committee due to a conflict with Arafat, but the committee rejected his resignation. This internal PA battle is more significant than whatever happens in Jenin, as Arafat has already proven he either can't or won't make a peace deal. He will, however, cling to power at any cost, and unless he is decisively shoved aside into being a mere symbol, will continue to undermine Abbas for the sole purpose of seizing the PA's reigns once again.


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