Beyond Images Challenging myths and presenting facts about Israel 

“Palestinian violence has forced Israel to compromise…”

London - updated on 15 December 2003
Beyond Images Ref: 49

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  • Palestinian spokesmen and supporters, and many commentators, claim that Palestinian violence is the only means available to make Israel compromise, and is therefore justified for that reason. In this Briefing we show that the reality is the opposite. We give six examples of how the violence of the Palestinian intifada has forced Israel to delay taking steps which it had previously stated it intended to take to fulfil Palestinian needs:-

  • Suicide bombing follows Mr Sharon's declaration in favour of Palestinian statehood (May 2001): In the third month of his first term as prime minister, Mr Sharon declares his support in principle for Palestinian statehood, and his readiness in principle to curb settlements. The next day a Palestinian suicide bomber kills seven Israeli civilians in the main shopping mall of the Israeli town of Netanya . The Israeli public's attention is taken away from the significant shift in Mr Sharon's position, by a Palestinian atrocity.

  • Israeli murdered by terrorists exploiting the easing of curfew restrictions (August 2002): Israel partially lifts a curfew on the Palestinian town of Tulkarem (imposed after a wave of terrorist attacks on Israel ), to ease the life of its inhabitants. Hours later, terrorists from the town lynch an Israeli farm worker, forcing Israel to reimpose the curfew, and resulting in continued hardship for the Palestinian population (see Briefing 13).

  • Hamas declares a continuation of terror following Israeli “two-state solution” commitment (June 2003): At the Aqaba summit of June 2003 (involving Israel , the Palestinians, the USA and Jordan ), Israel commits itself towards the “roadmap” and a process leading to the creation of a viable Palestinian state. The very next day, the leadership of Palestinian group Hamas declares that it will continue its attacks on all Israeli targets, civilian and military, thus directly challenging the peaceful path to statehood foreseen in the Roadmap.

  • Palestinian bus bomb attack halts Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian towns (August 2003): In August 2003 Israel finalises plans to withdraw its soldiers from four major Palestinian towns – Qalkilya, Jericho , Ramallah and Tulkarem. The intention is to improve conditions on the ground, and help create support for moderates within Palestinian society. One day before the planned withdrawal, a Palestinian bomber kills 22 Israelis in a suicide attack on the Number 2 bus in Jerusalem (see Briefing 68). Israel 's withdrawal from the Palestinian towns is suspended.

  • Released Palestinian prisoner turns into a suicide bomber, and his attack halts further prisoner releases (September 2003): In July 2003 Israel agrees to release hundreds of Palestinian security prisoners as a goodwill and confidence-building gesture. One of the released detainees kills 8 Israelis just weeks later, in September, in a suicide attack at the Tsrifin junction. Israel halts further Palestinian prisoner releases, which it had been working towards.

  • Islamic Jihad attempt to bomb an Israeli school in order to wreck moves towards a Palestinian ceasefire (December 2003): In December 2003 Israel intelligence learns of an Islamic Jihad plot, coordinated from Syria, to bomb a school in the central Israeli town of Yokneam. Israel launches a major security operation and arrests the two bombers in a Palestinian village before the attack can be carried out. Israeli analysts explain that the attack on the high school was deliberately timed in order to escalate tension and provoke Israeli retaliation, thereby wrecking the Palestinian “ceasefire” talks taking place at the same time in Cairo . (In the event, the “ceasefire” talks collapsed anyway).


    The examples above illustrate how Palestinian violence has not “forced Israel to compromise”, but has repeatedly sabotaged, or attempted to sabotage, Israel 's genuine efforts to improve the situation of the Palestinian people. The terrorism does not improve the lives of Palestinians, but perpetuates their plight.