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Mideast Violence Is Out of Control

October 25, 2002

Re "14 Killed in Israeli Bus Attack," Oct. 22: The government of Israel had just lifted the curfew in Jenin. What was the Arab response? Two murderers thought to be from Jenin drove an explosives-laden car into the back of a civilian bus in Israel proper, murdering 14 civilians and maiming 50 more. This is a consistent pattern by Palestinians in the West Bank. Each time Israel eases restrictions Jews are horrifically murdered.

Perhaps there will come a time when Arab terrorists will renounce violence and Israel can step back from imposing curfews. Until then, perhaps the Palestinians who are so unhappy about their present situation ought to examine the simple concept of cause and effect.

Herb Schiff

Culver City

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Once again we see an example of needless civilian deaths in Gaza following the Israeli attempts to eradicate militant groups ("Israeli Firefight With Gunmen in Gaza Kills Six," Oct. 18). Routine expressions of regret by Israeli politicians follow, and we await the next incident.

The Israel Defense Forces are clearly out of control. When such incidents occur, IDF officials either deny knowledge or claim an investigation will be made, but these appalling collateral deaths and injuries continue.

Furthermore, they appear to be unable to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from their equally tragic missions. If a cease-fire is to ever take place and peace negotiations resume, it will require a U.N. peacekeeping force, no matter how much the Israelis protest.

U.N. forces have been in place on the Lebanese and Egyptian borders for many years. Having a professional military force under U.N. mandate is likely to be much more successful than relying on young and nervous conscripted Israelis.

Ashley Robinson

Claremont

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