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Friday, July 17, 2009

Stability Breaks Out in the West Bank

The first movie theater to operate in this Palestinian city in two decades opened its doors in late June. Palestinian policemen standing beneath new traffic lights are checking cars for seat belt violations. One-month-old parking meters are filling with the coins of shoppers. Music stores are blasting love songs into the street, and no nationalist or Islamist scold is forcing them to stop.

“You don’t appreciate the value of law and order until you lose it,” Rashid al-Sakhel, the owner of a carpet store, said as he stood in his doorway surveying the small wonder of bustling streets on a sunny morning.

“For the past eight years, a 10-year-old boy could order a strike and we would all close. Now nobody can threaten us.” For the first time since the second Palestinian uprising broke out in late 2000, leading to terrorist bombings and fierce Israeli countermeasures, a sense of personal security and economic potential is spreading across the West Bank as the Palestinian Authority’s security forces enter their second year of consolidating order.

link: Signs of Hope Emerge in the West Bank -


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