Vicious circle of terrorism and revenge must end: Akahata

The Israeli government on December 4 decided to attack the Gaza Strip in
retaliation for a series of suicide bombing attacks on Israeli people by the
Palestinian militant group Hamas. Israeli forces have begun air strikes on
major facilities of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and in the West Bank,
reportedly killing more than 100 Palestinian people.

Akahata on December 5 said:

The current situation of Palestine is so serious that the settlement of
the question of Palestine has become difficult and concerns are growing that
an all-out clash between the Palestinian people and Israel may take place.

The question of Palestine entered a new stage when Israel and the PLO in
the 1993 Oslo peace accord agreed to recognize each other's existence and
oppose terrorism. But all of the recent developments may turn out to be
nothing as a result of these bombings and attacks.

Terror attacks by the Islamic extremist group Hamas, which involve
ordinary citizens, must be condemned as a flagrant challenge to
international public opinion against terrorism, which has been increasing
since the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Also, Israel's armed strikes on the Palestinian people must be condemned
as state-organized terrorism.

Indicating his intention of removing the Palestinian Authority and its
President Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has declared
that Israel will wage a retaliatory war just as the U.S. Bush administration
is carrying out in Afghanistan.

It is not just a coincidence that the U.S. Bush administration, which
justifies its military action in Afghanistan as a war in self-defense
defends Israeli action as being in self-defense.

The urgent task for the elimination of terrorism and the settlement of
the question of Palestine is to cut the cycle of Palestinian extremists'
terrorism and Israeli military action. The international community centering
on the United Nations is called upon to make joint efforts to achieve this.