retired Marine Corps general, shuttled between the U.S. and the Middle East early in 2002, trying to secure a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians and end nearly a year and a half of violence. He made his third trip to the embattled region in March just as Palestinians launched a series of successful suicide attacks. When an explosion at the Park Hotel in Netanya killed 27 people during Passover, Israel launched a massive raid, called operation Defensive Shield. Zinni's efforts to secure a cease-fire were unsuccessful. Also in 2002, Zinni warned that an invasion of Iraq could stretch the U.S. military too thin, strain relationships with allies, and create more enemies for America in the Middle East.