Jerusalem Bomb Delays Peace

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It'll take more than a Hamas bomb attack to derail the Mideast peace process -- if Benjamin Netanyahu is serious about the Wye Accord. Israel announced Friday it would indefinitely suspend implementing the agreement after two suicide bombers injured 21 Israelis in a Jerusalem market. But that's standard operating procedure, says TIME Jerusalem bureau chief Lisa Beyer. "They'll probably resume discussion in a few days." After all, it's not as if Hamas attacks are unexpected, and stopping the peace process is exactly what the militants are trying to do. "But Bibi's delays all week indicate that he may be unwilling to actually implement the Wye Accord," says Beyer.

Netanyahu sees the agenda for a Palestinian National Council session to be addressed by President Clinton in December as a deal breaker. The Israelis insist the PNC must vote to excise anti-Israel clauses from its charter; the Palestinians (with Washington concurring) say they already have, and don't intend to vote again. "The only reason to repeat the vote would be because the Israelis are telling them to," says Beyer. "It's an issue of dignity -- the Palestinians can't be expected to do whatever the Israelis say, no matter how ridiculous." So who needs Hamas? The peace process is quite capable of derailing itself.