Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

26 Tishrei 5761 - October 25, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Palestinian Violence Likely to Last Several Months; No Government in Sight
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Violence in the territories is likely to continue for many months, and probably through next year, according to several recent assessments made public in recent days. The Israel Defense Forces' said on Monday that the Palestinian attacks were unlikely to end soon and also that the Lebanon front could heat up again soon. Israel has still not managed to form a government to deal with the situation.

A separate assessment made at a court hearing on the release of Palestinians arrested for various acts of violence made by the police also said that clashes were liable to continue for some time, and even though they have subsided they may flare up again any day. The police argued against the release of the suspects on bail.

The chances of a full-scale regional war are considered low, but the IDF has nevertheless decided to fill gaps in its stockpiles of war material.

The IDF opinion was that if diplomatic negotiations resume, there might be a hiatus in the current disturbances, but the violence is likely to erupt again after any such lull. The army did not assess the likelihood of such negotiations resuming, which is out of their immediate area of concern.

The opinion of the IDF general staff is that hostile parties in Lebanon, whether Palestinians or Hizbullah, may soon join the fighting with the backing of either or both Syria and Iran.

Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz believes the chances of a multifront regional war have declined in the wake of the Arab League summit this weekend. Nevertheless, the chances of such a war are higher than they were a month ago.

In internal security establishment discussions last week, meanwhile, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, Major General Yaakov Or, suggested that Israel issue arrest warrants for all those who have instigated violence against Israel, such as Marwan Barghouti, the head of the Tanzim militias in the West Bank. This would make it harder for them to move freely in the territories, since any trip through Israeli-controlled territory would risk arrest.

Yesterday marked the ninth straight day of shooting at Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood in the south from the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Jala which faces it. For the first time, tanks responded to the shooting at 7:15 p.m. with fire from their heavy machine guns and later with several shells aimed at the sources of the fire. Up until Monday, the IDF had exhibited extreme restraint. They fired at targets only after warning Palestinians to get out of the way.

Ha'aretz military analyst Zeev Schiff wrote that the IDF has military solutions for situations like that in Gilo, but there apparently has been a decision not to use them. He did not detail the solutions, but said that the failure to do so lowers the morale and reputation of the army.

Discussions about forming an emergency government continue, but Prime Minister Barak seems no less able to form that kind of government than a regular one. His proposals are vague and there is broad opposition from all points on the political spectrum to joining such a government, despite the obvious need for one. The situation as it stands is that Barak stands at the head of less than a third of the Knesset, and can get little accomplished. The Knesset is to resume sessions after a three month recess next week.


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