They’ve really gone too far this time. When Abbas meets with Bush later this week, Bush will probably insist that he take only the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. “Israel Suspends Contacts With Palestinians,” from AP, with thanks to Alyssa A. Lappen:
GUSH ETZION, West Bank – Israel suspended negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on issues such as prisoner releases and slapped tough travel restrictions on the West Bank after Palestinian gunmen killed three Israelis and wounded five in drive-by attacks near Jewish settlements.
Sunday’s Palestinian attack near the Gush Etzion block of settlements was the deadliest since July. It followed Israeli intelligence warnings that Palestinian militants, who claim they drove Israel out of Gaza by force, would now shift their focus to the West Bank. Israel pulled out of Gaza in September in a unilateral move.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a militant group with ties to the ruling Fatah party, claimed responsibility. However, security officials said they believed the Islamic militant group Hamas might have been involved.
The attacks renewed international pressure on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to crack down on militants. Abbas, who is to meet later this week with President Bush in Washington, has been reluctant to take harsh measures against the militants.
Now why might that be?
UPDATE: More on this from David Bedein: “Official Palestinian Authority Media: Abbas’s Own Fatah Killed ‘Settlers’“