Wednesday, September 01, 2004

A false calm

On June 26, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat announced he was committed to maintain the cease-fire during the Athens Olympic games, to preserve 'a noble ancient tradition.'

The Olympic games ended on Sunday. Two days later the bubble of false calm - which Israel enjoyed for almost half a year since the suicide bombing in the Ashdod Port on March 14 - burst. During this period, tourists returned to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem's hotels, and the headlines dealt with `A Star is Born' and the gold medal of surfer Gal Fridman.

The official sources do not accept this explanation. They say the attempts at suicide bombings did not cease for a moment, that the Palestinian motivation remained the same, and that during the false calm hundreds of similar incidents were prevented. The disaster in Be'er Sheva yesterday was that a suicide bombing managed to penetrate the Shin Bet and IDF defenses."