Over 20 people were killed
when a suicide bomber detonated himself on a crowded Jerusalem bus shattering
an already fragile ceasefire.
Four years ago, the decades-long
conflict between Israelis and Palestinians
devolved once again into a daily exchange of violence that has deepened the
divide between the two sides. Jewish and Palestinian mothers alike are left
to mourn the mounting loss of life as long-standing roadblocks to peace
resurface and new ones arise. Both Palestinians and Israelis claim Jerusalem
as their capital and holy ground. More than 4 million Palestinian refugees in
the West Bank and Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan have been holding out hope
that they will return to homes they fled more than five decades ago.
Meanwhile, resolute Jewish settlers view this land as their birthright and
have moved by the thousands to West Bank and Gaza settlements to fortify
Israeli positions. These frontier areas are frequently targeted by Palestinian
militants, who also dispatch suicide bombers into the heart of Israeli cities
to induce as much carnage as possible. These attacks have prompted Israel to
build a 'security fence' designed to keep out Palestinian terrorists,
reassure the Israeli population and solidify Israel's claim to the land. But
that fence has also compounded the daily misery of Palestinians who must
travel to work inside Israel. With the death of long-time Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat in 2004, hope remains that these roadblocks can be overcome and
a lasting peace can be achieved.