Israeli lawmakers attended the dedication of a Jewish apartment complex in a Palestinian neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem.
After the dust has settled and Israel concludes its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, a key issue will be whether the move will enhance its security or not. Will it be perceived as a "victory for terror" as the right wing has claimed, or a "base for Islamic terror" as former Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said? Or will it enhance Israel's overall security posture? There is absolutely no question at all that from a security perspective this move will in the short, medium and long run only enhance Israel's security.
The Gaza settlements were a strategic dinosaur. They were built in the early 1970s as a buffer between a hostile Egypt and a hostile Gaza. Israel has been at peace with Egypt for almost three decades. The nearest Egyptian gun or tank to the border with Israel is on the other side of the Suez Canal, hundreds of kilometers away. Given the massive military outlay in protecting the 8,000 or so settlers, Gush Katif had turned from a strategic asset to a strategic burden.
The dust is still settling after last week's summit at the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheik, but early signs on the ground are highly contradictory.
Last week, just 48 hours after the summit, Palestinian terrorist groups fired more than 50 mortar shells at Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip -- yet now Hamas, the largest and most important of the terrorist groups, says it's committed to the cease-fire announced at the summit.
Bruised after a humiliating defeat in his own party, Ariel Sharon is considering dramatic moves to regain the political upper hand.
The following are some of the main points of the Geneva accord, the unofficial Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal launched Monday.
Aliyah is the oat bran of the Jewish people. We know it's good for us. We know we should be having more of it. But truth is, we just find it hard to swallow. And we certainly don't like it shoved down our throats.
Since the beginning of this year, 103 Israeli soldiers have died in, or on their way to, war in Lebanon. Twelve lost their lives in a botched marine commando raid last week. The total death toll since the 1982 "Peace for Galilee" invasion nowstands at about 1,200, and since the pullback to the South Lebanese security zone in 1985, some 500 soldiers have died.