More useless gestures

08.15.03

Less than two days after two terrorist bombings in Israel elicited a response from Sharon not to make any more gestures until the violence stops, Israel has done a 180 and is releasing more prisoners:

Israel began releasing more Palestinian prisoners Friday, but Palestinian leaders have said such releases in small numbers fall far short of their demands of a mass release.

A van believed to be carrying five prisoners emerged from the Damum Prison just outside the coastal city of Haifa early Friday.

They were among 68 Palestinian prisoners expected to be freed Friday.

Prison officials said others were released during the night, though it was unclear how many.

The 68 were held on criminal charges like illegal entry into Israel or car theft.

Palestinians demand that instead, Israel must free many of the 7,000 other prisoners it is holding, including uprising leaders, but Israel refuses to release Palestinians involved in terror attacks.

Excuse me, Palestinian demands for release??? Since when is Israel bound to uphold Palestinian demands for anything?

There have been no steps taken to stop the terrorism. None. It continues daily – truce or no truce. It is only due to Israel’s security measures that there haven’t been more fatal attacks lately.

There is no mention of prisoner release in the road map. Especially those arrested for terrorism. In fact, this isn’t a main issue at all. It’s being used to divert attention from the Palestinian non-compliance to the road map.

Israel is playing right into this strategy. It is clear that the prisoners released would have been freed soon anyway. So maybe it is using this as an attempted means to put off revenge attacks for the death of Islamic Jihad leader Muhammed Sidar. But if Israel really thinks that will work, then they really ought to know their enemy better than that.

Only in this twisted world can the death of innocent Israeli civilians be equated to the death of a Palestinian terrorist mastermind. And Israel keeps backpedaling, trying to frantically make further “gestures” to an enemy that wants nothing more nor less than its annihilation.

When will people learn?

Update: In even more “gestures”, Israel has agreed to hand over control of 4 West Bank towns to the Palestinian Authority. Israel has also agreed to temporarily lift the siege of Yasser Arafat, allowing him to travel from his Ramallah compound to visit the grave of his sister, who died this week.

While the latter is a humanitarian gesture that probably will do little to alter Arafat’s isolation from the so-called “peace process”, the handing over control is one of the worst moves Israel can make right now.

Israel has set conditions on the transfer of control of Jericho, Qalqiliya, Tulkarem, and Ramallah:

She said the conditions include: “No terrorist attacks, the Palestinians begin to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and the Palestinians create an apparatus for dealing with wanted people.”

But the world media will ignore the conditions, which are certain in advance to not be met by the Palestinians. Terror will contine and increase, Israel will be forced to re-enter the towns, and the world will cry foul at Israel when they do so.

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