A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
March 12, 2008 Islamic Jihad Leader 4 other Killed in the West Bank
The almost ceasefire in southern Israel continued today, but it is unlikely to continue tomorrow. Tonight Israel killed five Palestinians in the West Bank, including two wanted terrorist from the Islamic Jihad. One of those killed had been on Israelís wanted list for many years. The expectation is that the Islamic Jihad will retaliate. While visiting the border area, Minister of Defense Barak predicted the resumption of hostilities along the southern border.
An opinion poll among Israelis revealed that an overwhelming majority believe that Israelís deterrence has suffered greatly in the last two years. 48% believe that this is responsible for some of Hamasí actions as well as some actions by Israeli Arabs, while 29% did not. 52% of Israelis asked believed that before peace could be reached with the Palestinians, Israel needs a military victory. Only 22% did not think so.
Meanwhile, Israeli television talk shows continue to be filled with the question if and why there is a deep divide between the religious Zionist and the rest of the Israeli population in wake of the terror attack on Mercaz Harav Yeshiva and the subsequent visit by Minister of Educaiton Yuli Tamir, during which she was nearly attacked. The consensus on most of the shows has been yes. 48% of those responding to the poll in Israel believed that there is a deep divide today between the religious Zionist and the rest of the population, 23% do not believe so.
Israeli security personnel are concerned that anytime after next Saturday, which is 40 days after the Hezbollah terrorist Mughniyeh was killed, Hezbollah will attack an Israeli target overseas. El Al schedules have been changed, security has been upgraded, but there is only so much that can be done.