TEL AVIV - July 22 - Less
than twenty-four hours ago, the Hamas leader Sheikh Ahamad Yassin made an unprecedented
public call for a cease-fire with Israel. That call was the culmination of long,
patient negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas leadership,
aimed at achieving a ceasefire between the Palestinians and Israel, putting an
end to suicide bombings and paving the way to a resumption of some kind of political
process Saudi Arabia, too, is known to have made direct approaches to the Hamas
leaders in order to achieve the same result.
A government of Israel caring
even a little bit for the well-being of its own citizens would have welcomed the
opening. Not so the Sharon Government, whose response was to send an F-16 fighter
plane on a bombing spree in Gaza. The effect of attempting to assassinate a senior
Hamas leader was a carnage whose victims included many women and children.
Now, instead of offers of
ceasefire the Hamas leadership is coming out with calls for revenge, which seems
to suit Sharon much better. It is the PM, with his endless string of provocations,
who bears the responsibility for this missed opportunity of ending the cycle of
Deputy Defence Minister
Dalia Rabin-Pelosof resigned this evening, charging the Sharon government with
destroying the life work of the late Yitzchak Rabin, her father.