Also in the Middle East The Palestinian Authority announced earlier this week that it had put the founder of Hamas under house arrest.
The Palestinian Authority has placed the founder and spiritual mentor of the Islamic militant group Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, under house arrest in Gaza City, a Palestinian security official says.
The move came amid redoubled Israeli and international pressure on Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to crack down on militants after two suicide bombings in Jerusalem and a gun attack on a Jewish settlement left 31 Israelis dead last week.
"It was decided, starting from tonight, to impose house arrest on Sheikh Ahmed Yassin to safeguard the ultimate national interests of the Palestinian people," the official told Reuters on Sunday.
"The decision was issued from high up, from President Yasser Arafat," he said.
So, you think Arafat is getting serious, finally, about cracking down on Palestinian terrorists? Nope. Serious isn't putting an admitted murderer under house arrest. Serious is having a fair trial followed by a public execution.
Yassin is little different from a mob boss who orders his enemies executed, with one minor difference. With a mob boss, it's strictly business. With Yassin it is unbridled racist hatred.
If you want to stop terrorism -- against Americans or Israelis -- you have to kill the terrorists. Putting them under house arrest, only to lift it when public pressure eases, does little to stop suicide-murder bombings.