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The dedicated suicide bomber is the cruelest of enemies, whether he's a kamikaze pilot dying for a defeated emperor or a Hamas martyr dying for an Islamic Palestine "from the river to the sea."

As Israel learned again on Monday, once he's on target, it's almost impossible to stop him, or her. And by setting their sites on public transport, the Muslim fanatics are maximizing the damage - to life and limb, and also to the chances of a compromise peace between Israel and the Palestinians.This week's rush-hour bus bombing in north Jerusalem killed four passengers and wounded more than 100. Two earlier attacks, in Tel Aviv and Beit Lid, each left more than 20 dead.

The Hamas campaign has steadily eroded Israelis' sense of personal security, though not necessarily their wish to see the peace process succeed.