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Give peace a chance

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th October 2001 03:00 AM

ISRAEL HAS halted its withdrawal from six Palestinian towns, sparking renewed fears of a security breakdown in the Middle East.

ISRAEL HAS halted its withdrawal from six Palestinian towns, sparking renewed fears of a security breakdown in the Middle East. Israel was advised, strongly, by the United States last week to get out of Palestinian towns it had occupied in the wake of the assassination of an Israeli minister two weeks ago. More than 30 Palestinians have been killed as Tel Aviv's soldiers sought out the assassins. It must be noted that the minister was killed by an extremist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), to avenge Israel's slaying of one of its leaders. Either way, therefore, the acts are a perpetuation of the cycle of violence that has traumatised that part of the Middle East for years. So staying will only inflame passions further and the cycle would resume all over again. The Israelis should move out and the Palestinians should also work to restrain their restive peoples as a long-term solution is sought. While the latest violence has broken out against a backdrop of war in Afghanistan, which has the potential to further inflame Israel-Palestine, it also, ironically, offers hope for a solution. The US's advice to Israel is a direct result of this as America seeks to keep its anti-terrorism coalition, that includes many Arab states, intact. George Bush said recently that peacemaking is on the agenda, with a Palestinian state being part of the vision. As the war on terrorism took on a military approach, British Prime Minister Tony Blair met Palestine Authority President Yasser Arafat, committing yet more international attention to the conflict. The world should not give up pressing for Israeli withdrawal and Palestinian restraint if peace is to really have a chance.

Give peace a chance

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