Mideast bloodshed needs to end ? soon

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 26, 2001

As violence in the Mideast escalated Saturday, we were left wondering when the bleeding will stop.

Six Israelis were killed Saturday by Palestinian gunmen in one of the most deadly days of fighting in recent months. The gunmen were also shot and killed, bringing the total death toll to eight.

Lately such violence and deaths in the Mideast have become almost commonplace. And that’s unfortunate.

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Perhaps the most troubling occurrence of the day was the call by many Palestinians to join the &uot;holy war&uot; against Israeli forces.

It’s difficult for many of us to understand the emotion, faith and national pride at the heart of the dispute.

An example of this illustrated by comments from the mother of one of the Palestinian gunmen. ”I’m so proud of him,” said Amina Abu Hatab. ”He enters right to the heart of their army and kills three. All the Palestinian people should be proud of him.”

She’s proud of what is, to Western eyes, terrorism and unnecessary violence.

As difficult as it is for Westerners to understand the mindset of Palestinians and Israelis willing to kill or die over a battle for land, we must work to end the fighting.

The U.S. needs to lead a continued U.N. effort to get both sides to the bargaining table.

The area considered holy to two of the world’s largest religions needs to again return to peaceful, holy ways.

How many more people will die before both sides put an end to the violence?

One is too many.