The state prosecutor's recommendation to indict Ariel Sharon on bribery charges came just as the Israeli prime minister was putting the finishing touches on his plan for Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.
The death of Sheik Ahmad Yassin will pave the way to Palestinian moderation, Israel and its friends in Washington say.
But others, including Bush administration officials, are worried that the road just got a lot bumpier.
When the Palestinian Authority prime minister warned recently that Palestinians might abandon their goal of an independent state and instead seek a single state of Arabs and Jews, Ahmed Qurei was playing one of his trump cards in the conflict with Israel.
A grass-roots petition for Israeli-Palestinian peace, chugging along slowly for months, took off last week when a powerful and surprising name was attached to it.