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Never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity

Israel and the PLO reached agreement on Sunday to begin an Israeli pullout of troops from Gaza and Bethlehem. Unfortunately, someone forgot to consult with Hamas first:

But Palestinian militant groups including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said they rejected even a limited cessation of their 22-month-old uprising against Israeli occupation and would continue to mount attacks.

"The resistance will find ways to pursue the fight without clashing with the Palestinian Authority," senior Hamas official Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi told Reuters. "Our rifles will remain directed against the Zionist enemy and only against the Zionist enemy."

As part of the agreement, though, the PLO is supposed to "take responsibility to calm the security situation and reduce violence and terror." So either the PLO fails to live up to its obligations, or it actually takes steps to put down Hamas. If you're a betting man, here's a hint: past performance is a guarantee of future performance.

And speaking of past performance, doesn't this virtually guarantee that there will be homicide bombings in Israel? One bombing would serve to kill two birds with one stone for Hamas -- or, rather, several Israelis and Yasser Arafat's "credibility." (And yes, I find it hard to say that without laughing out loud.) Haven't we seen this exactly pattern before? The PLO pledges to crack down on militants. Israel exchanges land for those promises. And then those promises are ignored. And then the world blames Israel for making unreasonable demands, claiming that poor little ol' Arafat is doing the best he can.


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