The Israeli army has carried out its first raid into the West Bank town of Ramallah since the death of Yasser Arafat, ending a period of relative calm.
Two members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were reportedly arrested in the operation. At least 15 Israeli vehicles were involved in the incursion into the al-Tira district. The incident is likely to cast a cloud over hopes for a revivial of the Middle East peace process. Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath dampened optimism himself after talks with his Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom. He said little of substance had changed between the two sides since’s Arafat’s death. Shalom had spoken of “a window of opportunity.”