The Mideast: What the Players Are Thinking Now

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Peace in flames: A barricade in the West Bank

The uncomfortable reality of today's Middle East is that the "peace process," as we knew it, has run its course, without achieving its goal. The two sides are no closer now to finally resolving their bloodstained conflict than they were when Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shooks hands on the White House lawn in 1993. Bill Clinton is gone, Ehud Barak is no longer in charge and Yasser Arafat is in deep, deep trouble. Incoming prime minister Ariel Sharon says Oslo is dead, its assumptions are meaningless, and any offers made by his predecessor are null and void. So what comes next? TIME correspondents report from the region and from Washington on what to expect in the next phase of the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

  • Voices of the Intifada:TIME Cairo bureau chief Scott MacLeod talks with seven members of the Palestinian leadership about the ongoing struggle.

  • Why Washington Hums Sharon's Tune: TIME's State Department correspondent Jay Branegan sees an emerging consensus between the new administrations in Washington and Jerusalem — both disdain the Clinton-Barak push for a final agreement.

  • There Is No Longer a 'Peace Process': TIME's Jerusalem bureau chief Matt Rees says Israel's incoming prime minister is not bound by any previously agreed process, timetable or offers to Palestinian negotiators. Israel is saying Oslo is over, and any new talks will have to start from scratch.

  • Why Arafat Will Give Sharon a Chance: TIME's West Bank correspondent Jamil Hamad on why the Palestinian leader has no choice but to respond to the new Israeli leader's actions rather than to his record.

  • Interview: Amin Hindi: In a rare interview, the chief of Palestinian General Security talks with Scott MacLeod about working with Sharon and the future of peace negotiations.

  • Waiting for Palestine: Azadeh Moaveni on the view from the refugee camps, where the collapse of the peace process is felt with growing despair.