The Peace Process In the Middle East
In the ancient Fertile Crescent, what is today considered
the Middle East there is much controversy as to who is
causing the wars and who is contributing to the peace.
Israel is contributing to the peace time after time again
by helping the PLO get what they desire. Israel has offered
to let twenty Arab women go free, set 900 Palestinians
free, and has started to give sections of the West Bank to
The Israeli government offered to let all the Arab woman
prisoners walk free except for four women. These four women
were either accused or convicted of murder. There was a
boycott by the imprisoned women not to sign the form
forswearing any other attacks against Israel until these
four women were also freed. Letting these women go was only
one part of the plan between the PLO and Israel. Another
part was that Mr. Arafat would let senior Hamas leaders
free in exchange for their suspending terror attacks in
About a week after the women refused to be let free, 900
Palestinian men were let free. These men were let free
because they signed the forms which the women refused to
Much was going on as the men were being set free. An
advisor for Yasar Arafat filed a petition with the Israeli
Supreme Court on behalf of the four prisoners. Israeli
authorities were taking "small but concrete steps" in
withdrawing form the West Bank. At approximately 4:20 the
promised areas were was handed over to the Palestinian
Authority. The official authority hopes this to be a "step
forward for the implementation of the agreement."
While Israel was worrying about peace with the PLO,
southern Lebanese guerrillas, known as The Party of God,
attacked and killed six Israeli soldiers. This attack, and
others like it, reminded Israel that although they had made
peace with Jordan and the PLO, they were still not at peace
with Lebanon and Syria. There was fear and anxiety in the
air after this attack. There was fear that Israel might try
and retaliate by shelling Lebanese villages in which The
Party of God has its bases. The Party of God would then
respond by shelling northern Israeli settlements.
While Israel didn't shell Lebanon, they still made drastic
moves. This time it was with the PLO and the West Bank. Mr.
Peres agreed to start withdrawing from the city of Jenin.
The rest of the cities that were promised will be withdrawn
from within the week of Oct. 25, except for Hebron. Arafat
wants to have Hebron for elections on Jan. 22. The problem
with this is that there are Israeli settlers in the middle
of the city and the agreement stated that most of the
soldiers would not withdraw until a new access road was
built. The road might not be built until March.
It's obvious that Israel is contributing to the peace
process by trying to please the PLO in many ways. One of
the freed prisoners, an accused stone thrower said "But now
there's no reason to throw stones." Maybe both sides will
be able to see their way to a peaceful co-existence.