Via Just Journalism
On the eve of the commencement of peace talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, members of Hamas yesterday conducted a terrorist attack in the West Bank in which four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, were killed. The attack, which happened near the city of Hebron, was denounced by all those involved in negotiations, but lauded by a Hamas spokesman as a ‘heroic’ act. This outbreak of violence, which was widely seen as an attempt to derail the peace-process, highlighted the divisions between those Palestinians who are willing to negotiate with Israel, and those who reject peaceful compromise.
While the ambush was widely reported, there has been a distinct lack of analysis of the long term implications of such rejectionism on prospects for peace. In particular, there was little discussion of the fact that the Palestinians are divided between two governments, and of the history and ideology of Hamas. Instead, settlements were still portrayed as the major stumbling block, most notably by The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood.
Following her initial article on the killings, ‘Four Israeli settlers shot dead on eve of White House talks’ (which appeared online last night, and in The Guardian’s print edition today) Sherwood’s online article published today focused not on the attempts by Islamist militants to scupper negotiations, but on how continued settlement building posed the biggest obstacle to peace.