Could the Gur-El kidnapping be a turning point in the Sharon government's attitude towards the PA? Sources in Sharon's entourage in London this morning say that the Palestinians "have failed the test of the end result." The source said, "If not for the Israeli action, nothing would have happened [i.e., Gur-el wouldn't have been freed]. This case proves that the policy of negotiating with terrorists, whether a cell or a larger group, has failed." It was also reported that Prime Minister Sharon assumed shortly after the operation to rescue Gur-el had started that the PA would do nothing to help, and might even disturb the efforts to bring about a successful end to the abduction.
A member of Sharon's delegation also said that Elchanan Tenenbaum, an Israeli businessman who was abducted by Hizbullah almost three years ago, is "alive but not in good condition." So states Israeli intelligence information, which also has it that Tenenbaum was taken from Abu Dhabi to Lebanon.
Prime Minister Sharon arrived in Norway today, where he will meet with Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. Sharon will return to Israel this evening.