Friday, September 21

These will be replaced by terror cells inside the territories, less dependent on command centers and financing from across the border. Their members, like most of the recent knife-wielding assassins, will act more on an individual, spontaneous basis and will show strong suicidal tendencies. Many will be Islamic fundamentalists. The rise in incidents involving firearms and in headline-seeking attacks on civilians using knives and similar weapons has three major causes: There's a climate of rebellion among young Fatah cadres. They oppose Palestinian participation in the peace process, object to the leadership represented by figures like Hanan Ashrawi and are appalled by the corruption and impotence of the various PLO-funded institutions in the territories. (The East Jerusalem daily Al-Fajr is currently running a series of articles on these issues.)
The pro-Fatah leadership in the territories has virtually lost control of the organization's youth wing, which has spawned groups such as the extreme Black Panthers. These groups are now seeking their own channels to PLO operatives abroad. There are widespread calls among the young for a renewal of unrestrained violence and an end to the peace talks. Participants in those negotiations have been subjected to threats and vilification, and some fear for their safety. Although the ranks of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the territories were decimated by mass arrests by the Shin Bet in 1991, the PFLP apparently succeeded in creating a fairly solid...


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