Information Department, Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem
SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS
(Government Press Office)
Haaretz comments: "The cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, declared on Saturday
night by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert, is a welcome step toward putting an end to the spiraling bloodshed of
recent weeks in the south. We can assume that both sides agreed to an end to
the shooting after continuous fighting left them both exhausted and battered.
The endless launching of Qassam rockets against Sderot has claimed lives and
caused injuries, and Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip have
exacted a heavy price in Palestinian fatalities. The agreement among
Palestinian factions to a cease-fire is an important achievement for Abbas
who, in spite his weakness, has retained his stature as the one who represents
the Palestinians in the territories and talks with Israel on their behalf...
Now both sides will be tested on how well they are keeping the cease-fire."
The Jerusalem Post writes: "It does not take a clairvoyant to predict that a
cease-fire will be used by terrorists to recover from the IDF's military
pressure. How can allowing the terrorists a pause to refresh serve the cause
of peace? Alone, it cannot. But there is a way that a cease-fire could be part
of a more comprehensive policy that does bring down the likelihood of renewed
bloodshed. To stop terrorism, Israel must address both the capabilities and
the strategic environment of the terrorists. There is no point in a cease-fire
if the border between Egypt and Gaza remains a conduit for a constant flow of
weaponry to Hamas and other terrorist groups. Plainly, in such a circumstance,
any time-out is only a precursor to a renewal of intensified violence down the
Yediot Aharonot asserts that the average Israeli would not bet on a successful
outcome for the present cease-fire. But, the editors continue, the deployment
of foreign troops in Lebanon has provided relative quiet for the Americans,
and a similar model could be adopted for Gaza. The cease-fire is a step in
that direction. The Americans need calm in the region and what America wants,
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
are trying to provide.
Hatzofeh asserts that historically, when there is no decisive victory by
Israel, cease-fires are used as a means of reorganization by the Arabs. Both
Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigade and Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Battalion claimed credit
for Kassam rocket attacks after the cease-fire began and dissasociated
themselves from the it.
Yediot Aharonot, in its second editorial, comments on the escape of rapist
Benny Sela, noting that the only thing done right so far was to invite Uri
Geller to assist in the manhunt.
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