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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Can the new Palestinian government control militants?
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas flanked by security guards

Israel has said the suicide attack at a cafe in Tel Aviv on Tuesday represented a "complete failure" in security for the new Palestinian administration.

The blast, which killed four and injured more than 50, came just hours after new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas won approval for his cabinet and vowed to crack down on militants.

Saeb Erekat, a member of Mr Abbas' new administration, condemned the attack and said the new government was "committed to its security obligations".

The developments come as the quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations prepares to publish its peace "roadmap", which was promised once Mr Abbas took office.

Do you think the new Palestinian administration can control militants? Can the government of Mr Abbas pave the way towards peace?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

Turning a militant organisation into a political one worked well in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka - they should be good examples to study
Sherif, Canada

Hamas has to be restructured from a militant organisation to a political one, and then integrated into the peace process. Fighting it only makes it stronger and more popular, and marginalising it risk turning the peace process into peace between the PLO and the Likuds and not the Israeli and Palestinian people. Turning a militant organisation into a political one worked well in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka. They should be good examples to study.
Sherif, Canada

No. There is no serious intention to withhold extreme Palestine militant organisations from acting as they please. Hamas leaders who are backing all terror attacks can move freely and appear on all TV screens worldwide saying that they are against the peace process unconditionally. Until they are not moved away there's really no hope of any progress.
Claudio Menegozzo, Italy

It all boils down to the powerful party, Israel. I mean how clear is the message? End the occupation for the sake of peace and humanity.
Karen, UK

I do hope they can, but I doubt. The militants are the absolute problem for the new leaders.
Ulf Torberger, Sweden

For every single day there are at least a few Palestinians killed and this has to be stopped. Mr Abbas should be given a chance to stop this bloodshed. For every Palestinian killed there are people that will look for revenge which only increases the number of civilians killed in this conflict. I think Sharon should be removed from his position as well and a new peace dealer should be brought in.
Hay, UK

I doubt whether the new administration will actively control militants any more than Arafat did
Rob, UK

The new administration is a great step forward, but I doubt whether it will actively control militants any more than Arafat did. The nature of the individual militant is that he is hard to catch and makes up his own mind. The administration can however help curb the general unrest in a wider group of Palestinians, and thus improve chances for peace.
Rob, UK

The new administration is going to need help and funding to crack down on sections within their own population which have become debilitated by an ethos of hatred and despair.
Nadeem Shaikh, UK

I think the only one who can control the militants is Israel, by seizing the settlements and withdrawing from the occupied territories.
Johny, France

Of course the new government cannot control the militants because the militants will attempt to hijack the whole process. They do not want to see an Israeli state at all, so they will continue to undermine any efforts made to forge a lasting peace. Israel must understand and acknowledge that the militants are separate from the Palestinian government, but on the other hand, Israel should retain the right to continue targeting those who would use violence as a tool.
Chris, USA

The only person who can stop the militants and violence is the Israeli citizen by really believing in human equality and the right of Palestinians to live with dignity on the lands of their fathers as he has the right to live in the land to which his fathers have immigrated from around the world. One man = one vote. Say no to any type of discrimination between humans.
Amgad Moussa, Egypt

The question is much like "can parents stop their kids swearing?" It's a matter of will, discipline and responsibility. And, if they can't, both the child and parent are in need of some serious soul-searching.
Derek Saker, USA

Yes it can, but only if the government of Israel stops its atrocities against the Palestinians.
Fikry Salib, USA

Israel and the Palestinians



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