Israeli Army: the Worst is yet to Come in Clashes with Palestinians
Clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians, which have claimed 60 lives in five days will get worse before they get better, Israel's deputy chief of staff said Tuesday.
"Our working hypothesis is that the worst is yet to come and that this wave of violence will continue. Lethal attacks (against Israelis) are perhaps only a matter of time, and the Islamist Hamas and Jihad movements will try to exploit the situation to make their presence felt too," General Moshe Yaalon told Israel radio.
He played down the significance of the visit by hawkish right wing opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, which has been blamed for sparking the unrest, saying "the Palestinians intended to provoke clashes anyway."
"Sharon's visit was only a pretext, cynically exploited by the Palestinian Authority which needs only the order from its chairman (Yasser) Arafat to stop the violence. That is the situation where we are now, with no hint of a ceasefire," he said.
Despite a ceasefire agreed between the two sides in the early hours of Tuesday morning, clashes broke out again during the day, though they were less widespread. Four Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip, and dozens of others injured – JERUSALEM (AFP)
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