If, in fact, the Palestinians' militant factions were willing to stop the suicide bombings in a move towards ending the bloodshed, then Ariel Sharon has proven, with the F-16 attack in Gaza City, that he has no interest in compromise or peace. From the Washington Post: "The Israeli missile killed [Salah Shehadeh], his wife and daughter, and a top aide, according to Palestinian hospital officials in Gaza. Of the 11 other fatalities recorded by the officials, eight were said to be children younger than 11. About 150 people were injured, the officials said." One grain of salt: I wouldn't be surprised if Palestinian officials spun those figures to look as bad as possible. Let's wait til the dust settles.
Sharon called the attack "one of our major successes." He added, regarding the innocents who were killed, "we are always sorry about civilians that are hurt." Aww, that's nice of him. Of course, they weren't hurt. They were blown to pieces by a bomb that weighed a ton in an attack during the course of which the Israelis had to have known that civilian losses would be unavoidable. Again, if what the above article says is true, then Sharon is a saboteur of peace and this was an attack that was timed with the intention of exploding recent efforts towards peace, Sharon obviously knowing that the PLO's militants would seek reprisal. So Sharon has not only the blood of Palestinian civilians on his hands but also that of the innocent Israelis whose body parts will be scattered around the next marketplace or bus to be targeted.
Let me state up front: I'm not taking either side in this conflict. I'm on the side of peace. Sharon, it should now be clear to even the biggest doubters, is not.