Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Israel Blunts Uprising's Impact (washingtonpost.com)

JERUSALEM -- After four years of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, Israel has established dominance on the battlefield, sharply reduced loss of life among its soldiers and civilians, and advanced its own agenda for the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the absence of negotiations to bring peace, according to officials and analysts from both sides.

In a pivotal shift in the conflict, Israel has crippled the effectiveness of the Palestinian militants' primary strategic weapon -- the suicide bomber -- with frequent military operations in the Palestinian territories, assassinations of dozens of militant leaders, improved intelligence, and construction of a massive barrier through and around the West Bank. At the same time, however, Israel's reliance on military options also has killed Palestinian civilians and inflicted hardships on Palestinian communities."