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Deals Of No Value

The phenomenon did not originate in Gaza. During the civil war in Lebanon in the 1970s and '80s, the Palestinians agreed to and signed more than 90 cease-fires. Most were violated with terrible bloodshed. The desire to be rid of the Palestinians was the reason that many Shi'ites welcomed the IDF forces that entered Lebanon. The goal of stopping Palestinian unruliness was also one of the reasons behind Hafez Assad's invasion of Lebanon. In Jordan, the Palestinians continued to violate the agreements they reached with King Hussein until he sensed that the government was slipping from his hands. There, too, they caused a civil war in which they were beaten by the Jordanian army. The peak occurred not long ago, when the Palestinians crudely violated the Mecca agreement for the establishment of a Palestinian unity government even before the ink was dry. It is obvious, therefore, that the Palestinians do not want to, or are not capable of, keeping agreements. They'll always find an excuse or a pretext, even if it ends up hurting them. Some say this happens because the Palestinians have no national entity. But Yasser Arafat had such an entity and controlled a majority of his organizations, and he continuously violated agreements. Israel has no choice but to continue to seek agreements with the Palestinians, but it also must insist on maintaining broader margins of security. For example, by making every effort in the current situation to isolate the territories of the West Bank from the Gaza Strip and to prevent Hamas from gaining the upper hand in the West Bank. For this reason, most of the security-related sections (the acid tests) in the proposal by the American general Keith Dayton must be rejected.