Mixed messages

Is the latest surge of Palestinian terror intended to “send a message” to Mahmoud Abbas? Or is it an effort to make Israel’s disengagement appear to be under fire? BBC correspondents certainly haven’t decided. Here’s the Beeb’s initial spin after last week’s attack on the Karni crossing:

But our correspondent says groups like Hamas are very keen to portray the Israeli withdrawal as a retreat under fire.

Yet when Ariel Sharon ordered the IDF to clamp down on Qassam rocket fire, notice how the BBC spin changed.

But the BBC’s James Reynolds in Jerusalem says Mr Sharon’s latest move may complicate Mr Abbas’ tactic of trying to reach a ceasefire through negotiation and persuasion.

Militant factions have indicated they will only stop attacks if Israel does the same.

Rather than rely on speculating correspondents, the NY Times went straight to the source of the deadly terror.

A Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that the Karni attack was “a message to the Israeli enemy, definitely not to Abu Mazen.”

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