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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Where a month ago is ancient history

Let's all jump into the Wayback Machine and travel far, far back into the shrouded and mysterious past. Let us unearth the words and deeds of the previous generations and try to learn from the ancients.

Yes, let's decipher the yellowed and crumbling newspaper known as Ha'aretz from November 27, 2006:
Olmert said Sunday during a visit in the Negev that "the State of Israel is so strong that it can allow itself some restraint in order to give a chance to a cease-fire."

"All of these things ultimately could lead to one thing - the opening of serious, real, open and direct negotiations between us," Olmert said. "So that we can move forward towards a comprehensive agreement between us and the Palestinians."

"Even though there are still violations of the cease-fire by the Palestinian side, I have instructed our defense officials not to respond, to show restraint, and to give this cease-fire a chance to take full effect," he said during a ceremony at a high school in the Bedouin town of Rahat, adding "the government of Israel will not miss this opportunity for calm."

Palestinian Authority security forces began deploying along the Gaza Strip's border with Israel on Sunday, in order to prevent Palestinian militants from firing Qassam rockets at Israel in violation of the cease-fire.

A short time earlier, Abbas ordered the heads of Palestinian security forces to ensure that Gaza militants respect the truce, Palestinian officials said.

Three Qassam rockets hit Israel in the first few hours after a truce between Israel and Palestinian militant factions in the Gaza Strip went into effect, causing no damage or injuries. Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said all major militant factions in the Gaza Strip had reaffirmed their commitment to the truce, Reuters reported.

It was not immediately clear whether there was an explicit order by Abbas to use force to stop rocket fire by militants.

A senior official in Jerusalem said Israel would wait several hours to see if the attacks were isolated breaches or a full-scale violation of the agreement before deciding whether to respond.

Despite the claims of responsibility for the rockets, a spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian government, Ghazi Hamad, said all the armed groups had committed to the agreement, and any violations were rogue acts.

"There is a 100 percent effort to make this work, but there is no guarantee of 100 percent results," Hamad said.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday morning that any attempt to fire into Israeli territories would be considered a breach of the cease-fire and treated with severity.

According to Peretz, Israel is interested in quiet, but would not accept attacks on its citizens.