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 Palestinians. 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 Israel. 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 sign. 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 The rest of the cities that were promised will be withdrawn from within the week of Oct. 25, except for Hebron.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.