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Middle East Enters Dangerous New Cycle of Carnage

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Elaine Hagopian, professor emeritus of sociology at Simmons College who assesses the escalating Middle East violence and where it may lead if allowed to spin out of control (A RealAudioVersion of this interview may be found At www.btlonline.org) .
Middle East Enters Dangerous New Cycle of Carnage

Interview by Between the Lines' Scott Harris.

Three suicide bomb attacks in Jerusalem and Haifa on Dec. 2 took the lives of more than two dozen Israeli civilians and catapulted the Middle East into a dangerous new cycle of bloodshed. The Palestinian extremist group Hamas claimed responsibility for the bombings saying they represented retaliation for the Israeli assassination of one of their top leaders. But Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and many in the United States, placed the blame squarely on Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.

Israeli army reprisals were swift. F-16 jets, helicopters and tanks were used in attacks against the Palestinian leader's headquarters in Jenin; Arafat's three helicopters near his home were destroyed; while bulldozers razed the Gaza International airport's runways. Despite Arafat's orders arresting more than 100 Palestinians thought to be connected with the terror attacks, Israeli and U.S. officials demanded that he immediately act to dismantle Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups which have launched suicide bombings in the past.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Elaine Hagopian, professor emeritus of sociology at Simmons College who assesses the escalating Middle East violence and where it may lead if allowed to spin out of control (A RealAudioVersion of this interview may be found At www.btlonline.org) . .

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