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On the Cease-Fire Front

By Michael Freund
9/3/2005, 12:00 AM

Remember the much-hailed “cease-fire” declared by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen)?

Well, here is the latest from the cease-fire front:

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired a Kassam rocket at the Jewish community of Gadid in Gush Katif last night (Tuesday). Fortunately, the rocket landed in between two homes, so no one was injured in the assault, though there was some damage reportedly caused.

Ironically enough, the attack took place during a meeting between Abbas and Israel’s Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz aimed at finalizing the transfer of additional territory to Palestinian control.

Even more ironic, however, were Mofaz’ remarks at a press conference held after the meeting, in which he told reporters that, “It will be difficult to advance on the political plane if there is no security for Israeli citizens.”

As yesterday’s attack (which was preceded by numerous others, such as the shooting incident in Hebron on Monday which wounded two Israeli border policemen, or the recent suicide bombing in Tel Aviv) should make clear, we are a still very long way from being able to say that there is “security for Israeli citizens”.

White_flag Nonetheless, that doesn’t seem to deter the Government from pressing forward. In last night’s discussions, Mofaz reportedly agreed to turn Jericho over to the Palestinians as early as this evening, to be followed in the coming days by the city of Tulkarem.

So once again, the Palestinians see that there is no price to be paid for their ongoing resort to violence. This will likely lead them to conclude that it is precisely the bloodshed that is compelling Israel to retreat.

And as the events of the past decade have shown time and again, withdrawing under fire only invites still more aggression. It’s about time that Israel’s leadership finally grasped this most basic of lessons.