Friday, October 25, 2002

Ehud Yaari in the Jerusalem Report:

The Israeli-Palestinian arena is now dominated by Iraq. All calculations are subordinated to the expectation of war. The timetable of our ongoing conflict is based on the assumption that sometime between the end of Ramadan (the first week of December) and the return to work after the Christmas holidays (the first week of January), the Americans will strike their blow.

With regard to the heating up between Palestinian factions in Gaza we witnessed following the October 7 murder of the commander of the Gaza anti-riot police he says the murder

could have provided the PA with an excuse for such a crackdown. That would have allowed the PA to demonstrate that there is a real partner for dialogue on the Palestinian side, and to go into the war on Iraq with the Gaza Strip producing significantly less volume of terrorism and rocket attacks than at present.

But they did little and he says the Fatah recognizes that

if the PA does not rein in Hamas, Israel, at the end of the day, will have no choice but to carry out a thorough clean-up in the Gaza Strip, similar to the one under way in the West Bank. It is just as clear that the moment the Palestinian lathes manage to produce rockets with ranges long enough to threaten, say, Ashkelon, the IDF will in any case have no choice.