Earlier this week, the Israeli army special forces stormed the Jericho prison (quite a ways into the West Bank, if you look at a map), suppressing the guards and capturing a bad guy who was held there. Apparently the Palestinian government was getting ready to release him.
This has stunned the Palestinian people so much that they have called a general strike, with shops and services closing all over the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has in protest cut short his official visit to several European states that was slated to end with an address to the European Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg.
On which my boss commented rather insightfully that most Western nations tend to attempt to settle their differences with diplomacy, and if that doesn't work, turn to violence. Whereas the Palestinians have tried violence first, and that having singularly failed to achieve desired results, now have no other choice but to resort to diplomacy.
In Other News
Lennart Meri, the first president of newly independent Estonia, has died. Now, I have nothing bad at all to say about the man or his handling of the post. And it is certainly a great loss for the nation (Meri was a prominent cultural personality before becoming President in '92). But yesterday, fully half of Estonia's foremost daily broadsheet consisted of articles about Lennart Meri, and the government TV channel ran an entire day's worth of programming about him.
Slow news day, or what?