Prime Minister Ariel Sharon remains a relatively popular figure in Israel but not in his own political party. A Gallup poll out last Friday gave Sharon a 55% approval rating and indicated that if elections were held now, Likud would more than double its number of Knesset seats.
Asked whom they preferred as chairman of the Likud party and the next Likud candidate for prime minister, Israelis chose Sharon over his arch-rival, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, by a margin of 15 percentage points, 47 to 32.
A pair of Israeli attack helicopters killed four Palestinians in Bethlehem on Tuesday as the cease-fire that wasn?t entered its second month. At least two of the targeted Palestinians were planning a terror attack for next week?s closing ceremony of the Maccabiah Games, according to Israeli security sources.
A 51-year-old Israeli shepherd became the latest Jewish fatality in the nine-month-
old Palestinian intifada when his body was found near Hebron Tuesday morning. The killing of Yair Har-Sinai, a father of nine children, was just one in a series of violent incidents this week that gave the lie to the notion that anything approaching a state of lowered hostilities is currently in place.
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