RealNews

Bombings Batter Peace Hopes, Israel Eyes Arafat

A wave of Palestinian suicide bombings battered a tenuous U.S.-led “road map” to Middle East peace and Israel redoubled threats to expel Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat whom it blamed for fomenting militant violence. “We are convinced that first and foremost Arafat is the factor preventing this process from taking off,” Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Monday after a woman suicide bomber killed three people in the Israeli town of Afula on Monday. The Islamic Jihad group and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of Arafat’s Fatah faction, both claimed responsibility for the attack outside Afula’s main shopping mall — the fifth suicide bombing in three days. The Palestinian president condemned the violence and denied trying to wreck the peace plan embraced by his reformist Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas with a view to ending a 31-month-old uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Full Story

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