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Tuesday, 2 April, 2002, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Israeli anger after seven deadly days
Mourning family of woman killed in suicide bombing
120 Israelis were killed in March alone
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By the BBC's Tamar Shiloh
line
Seven deadly suicide attacks in seven days have left Israelis angry and scared.


I think Arafat's leadership is finished. He brought us and the Palestinians to a situation that cannot go on

Israeli Shai Laslo
Nowhere feels safe. At first it was buses and crowded markets, then cafes.

Now it is dangerous simply to go into the centre of town, to any shopping centre or supermarket. The grim fact is that 120 Israelis have been killed in March alone.

Israelis' anger and fear is made worse by the feeling that there is no end in sight.

Every Israeli knows someone who has now been called up for emergency reserves duty, yet many feel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has yet to present them with a clear strategy.

'One side'

Many Israelis believe the world sees only one side of the story, acknowledging only the suffering of the Palestinians and ignoring theirs.

Funerals of bombing victims
Israelis and Palestinians 'cannot go on' living such traumatic lives

"The coverage is not unbiased. But I understand the tendency of the media to follow the side that appears weak in this confrontation," says Assaf Weisbrot, a computer engineer in Tel Aviv.

"Obviously, it is more sexy to tell the story of the freedom fighter. And newspapers are a business after all. I guess terrorist attacks sell fewer papers."

Most Israelis recognise the Palestinians' suffering, but they believe the Palestinian leadership shares a large part of the responsibility for its people's predicament.

"I think (Palestinian leader Yasser) Arafat's leadership is finished. He brought us and the Palestinians to a situation that cannot go on - neither for the Palestinians, who have to live their normal lives, nor for us," says Shai Laslo, a landscape architect who lives in the Jewish settlement of Beit Horon.

"Israel has to find an alternative to Arafat," Mr Laslo says, adding that he does not think killing the Palestinian leader would not be a solution.

Israeli weeps next to a suicide bombing victim being attended by paramedics
Some Israelis feel Arafat encouraged suicide bombings

Journalist and peace activist Margery Morgan says that ultimately each side will have to give way and agree on a diplomatic solution.

She hopes that one day there will be two states living peacefully side by side. "It's a peaceful little democratic state that we're going to have - a Jewish state that has equal opportunities for all its citizens," she says.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Sharon: 'Has yet to present a clear strategy'
"In order to do that there can be no real right of return for four million people - but the Palestinians will have the right of return to their own state," she says.

Mr Weisbrot says he would be happy if a diplomatic path could be found.

"Personally though, I feel cheated, as an enthusiastic peace supporter who saw it approaching around the corner."

Mr Weisbrot rejects the claim that the Palestinian attacks are perpetrated out of despair.

"Even when the Palestinians were a strong majority on this land, before Israel was established, terrorism was a legitimate tool in their eyes to fight against the Jews," he says.

See also:

02 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israel considers exiling Arafat
02 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israel holds veteran French activist
01 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israeli papers demand clearer goals
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