Even before the first Israeli tanks swept into Ramallah at the start of Operation Protective Wall, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was being asked what he intended to do the day after the tanks withdrew. From day one, it was clear that the operation would not in itself put a stop to Palestinian terror. No matter how badly the terrorist infrastructure was hit, it would be only a matter of time until the suicide bombers were back on Israel's streets.
Unless, that is, there was some political solution to the Palestinian- Israeli conflict.
For Israel and the Palestinians, 2001 was a year of failure, collapse and escalating violence. Failure of international diplomacy, collapse of mutual trust, violence that claimed 200 Israeli lives and 574 Palestinian.