JERUSALEM: Three Palestinian trucks carrying eggplants and tomatoes left the Gaza Strip today. It may not seem like news, but this is the first step in cooling down the crisis in the Middle East. Since the suicide bombing thirteen days ago, Israel kept the Gaza border closed as part of an array of sanctions against the Palestinians. Now, those sanctions are being rolled back -- and the vegetable trucks are rolling again.
But Israel has no apparent plans to let up on the most crippling economic sanction: the witholding of more than half of the Palestinian Authority's monthly income. "Netanyahu still wants to see a crackdown from Arafat on Hamas and the Islamic military groups," says Lisa Beyer, TIME Jerusalem Bureau Chief. "What can he hold back in return? Everything, until the Palestinians do as they are told."