JERUSALEM: The Israeli government plans to force Yasser Arafat to crack down on Islamic militants by freezing up to two-thirds of the Palestinian Authority's revenue. But this strategy may backfire, reports TIME Jerusalem bureau chief Lisa Beyer. "It's meant to scare Arafat into action," says Beyer, "but what it is actually doing is antagonizing him into continued inaction."
And Arafat isn't alone. According to TIME's Jamil Hamad, the threatened Israeli crackdown is making the lives of those in the West Bank and Gaza a living hell. "It's clear that a peaceful solution is becoming less and less popular every day because of such policies," says Hamad. Nonetheless, the Isreali government gave every indication today that it was still up for a game of hardball -- by keeping its measures in place indefinitely.