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For many Israelis, Dec. 13 — the date
Israel is to begin its pullout from Gaza
and Jericho — is too close for comfort.
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manufacturer's incentives assigned to dealer.
o the rest of the world, the
crisis in the Israeli-PLO
talks might seem like a
bad thing. The Americans
are concerned. The Palestini-
ans are outraged. But in Israel,
the feeling is one of relief.
Dec. 13 was approaching too
fast. It became unthinkable that
the army would begin turning
over Gaza and Jericho to armed
Palestinian policemen on that
date. Terror — not peace — was
in the air.
So when Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin said Dec. 13 was
not "holy," that two-to-three
weeks of further negotiations
would probably be needed be-
fore the changeover could be
Hamas, it is assumed, is
preparing to strike some un-
godly blow. In recent days, the
movement has lost its number
one terrorist, and another fel-
low who probably ranked no
lower than third.
Imad Akel, leader of Hamas's
"military wing," Iz a-Din el-
Kassem, was killed in a
shootout with soldiers in Gaza,
and a few days later Khaled Za-
yir, head of the Hamas fighters
in the Judea area, died the
same way near Jerusalem.
"We shall speak to (Rabin) in
the language he understands so
well: the buzzing of bullets, ex-
plosions and booby-trapped
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made, it came as a reprieve. The
way things have been going in
the West Bank and Gaza late-
ly, for many Israeli Jews it
would not be a tragedy if the de-
lay took even longer.
The streets of the territories
are as "hot" as ever. The killings
of Jewish settlers have slowed
down in the last week or so, but
now the battle is between Pales-
tinians and Israeli soldiers.
The latest news is that the
Fatah Hawks are taking up the
gun again. They are among the
worst Palestinian terrorists,
but, because they are loyal to
Yassir Arafat, they had begun
laying down their arms after
the September agreement.
However, one of their number
opened fire on Israeli soldiers
the other day, and was killed for
it. Now the truce is off.
There will also be new meth-
ods ... Rabin Will know them at
the appropriate time," Hamas
It was always understood
that Hamas was out to wreck
the peace agreement by killing
Israelis. It was also understood
that they would keep up their
efforts after the Palestinian po-
lice came to power. But Mr. Ra-
bin's argument has been that
the PLO now has a vital inter-
est in clamping down on ter-
rorists who oppose the peace
process, and that the Palestin-
ian police, playing by its own
rules, will do a ruthless, thor-
ough job of it.
This thesis was banged
around a bit after the killing of
Imad Akel. As a sign of protest
and mourning, Hamas called
for a three-day general strike in