TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Yasir Arafat's death is a historic milestone in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a new starting point in the efforts to resolve the decades-old holy-land feud. It presents an opportunity to resolve the conflict, but lots of political determination and skill are needed from the dueling sides, the United States, and the international community to make it happen.
The veteran Palestinian leader died when the intifada he'd led against Israel since September 2000 had run its course. The Palestinians proved too weak to drive the Israelis out of the occupied territories in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by force. Their suicide bombings in Israeli cities created havoc, but failed to break the Israelis' will to fight.