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PRESIDENT ABBAS ENTERS "LION'S DEN"

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Goes To Gaza To Make Peace Pitch To Hamas & Islamic Jihad

Touring The Gaza Troops, Prime Minister Sharon Reviews Military Contingency Plans, If Palestinian Attacks continue

Sderot Residents March Toward Palestinian Town, Which Bombards Them With Qassam Rockets

President Abbas

Newly elected Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, or Abu Mazen, is about to call on the fanatic Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations in the Gaza Strip to call off their attacks on Israel. On his first visit to Gaza since the January 9th election, Abbas has reportedly ordered Palestinian security forces to halt the rocketing of Israeli towns and villages. His security forces were said to be taking up position in the areas of Gaza used by the terrorists to launch Qassam rockets and mortars. However, on the ground there has been little change in the Palestinian shelling. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon traveled to the Erez Crossing to Gaza to meet top IDF commanders. He again warned of the consequences if the Palestinian attacks continue. What are the chances that Mahmoud Abbas will succeed? Israeli left and right wing Knesset members are split about the new leader’s real intentions.

Newly elected President Mahmoud Abbas is about to enter the Palestinian ‘lion’s den’ in Gaza. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are sworn to wipe the Jewish state off the face of the earth; Abbas is about to call on them to observe a cease-fire with Israel.

PM Sharon at Gaza

Time is running out for the Palestinian leader to prove he is a real partner for Israel. His first official appeal to stop the shelling has fallen on deaf ears; the Qassams and mortars keep coming. There may be a new twist; after last weekend’s barrage of the Israeli town of Sderot nearly boiled over, the terrorists now seemed to focus more on settlements inside the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon toured IDF troops serving in Gaza to get a first-hand view and hear how they feel about the situation. Accompanied by Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Sharon also reviewed IDF contingency plans in case the Palestinian attacks continue. Sharon declared the new Palestinian leader ‘needs no time for on the job training’. What are Abu Mazen’s chances? He argues that Palestinian shelling of Israeli civilians is bad for the Palestinian cause. Labor MK Yuli Tamir was one of a group of Israeli left-wingers who met with Abu Mazen yesterday in his Ramallah office. Tamir feels that the new Palestinian leader is sincere about making peace with Israel and should be given time to rein in the terrorists. MK Arieh Eldad of the far-right National Union says forget it! There is no real difference between Abbas and Arafat; the ultimate goal of Abbas is also to destroy Israel, he’s just going about it in a different way.

David Essing

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