March 7, 2007:
Israeli troops raided the West Bank town of Ramallah. There they
surrounded a Palestinian military intelligence headquarters, and arrested 18 terrorism suspects. The prisoners belonged to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a
terrorist organization supported by the Palestinian Fatah faction. The prisoners were also
members of the Palestinian security services. The prisoners had been organizing
and carrying out attacks on Israelis, and planning kidnappings. Another 32
arrests were made in the area, and large quantities of weapons and munitions
seized. Israeli counter-terror tactics
continue to block Palestinian attempts to carry out attacks inside Israel.
March 6, 2007: Israeli officials are
arguing over a government report that criticizes efforts to protect civilians
during last Summers war with Hizbollah. In that conflict, Hizbollah fired over
4,000 rockets into Israel, and 39 Israeli civilians died (along with 120
March 5, 2007:
Hamas continues to refuse to recognize Israel, even though the new
coalition government with Fatah is supposed to include some form of
recognition. As a result, Fatah and Hamas continue to have financial
difficulties. Meanwhile, foreign aid groups increasingly deliver aid directly
to Palestinians. This is dangerous, because without the foreign aid, Hamas and
Fatah cannot maintain their large militia forces. Thus freelance and clan based
gangs rule the streets, and see the foreign aid organizations as legitimate
targets for extortion and theft. Hamas, in the meantime, is taking more money
from Iran, and sending its people to Iran for weapons and terrorism training.
Hamas has a long range plan that includes a major uprising of well armed Palestinians that will destroy
Israel once and for all.
March 4, 2007: Israeli police arrested about a thousand
Palestinians for living illegally in Israel. The Palestinians were smuggled in
by Israeli gangs, and 20 members of those gangs were arrested as well.
Meanwhile, news reports that 54 families are moving out of the southern town of
Sderot, is being hailed as a victory by Palestinian terrorists. Over the last
few years, about a hundred home made
rockets a year were fired at Sderot. The rockets are not accurate, but, on
average, for every three dozen fired, one Israeli is killed or wounded. Israel
has an early warning system, that gives people time to duck into a safer place.
But this has just made many people more anxious. Israel is building an air defense system to
shoot down the rockets, but this won't be ready for another year or so.
March 3, 2007:
An Israeli government report, not yet released, reveals that the Israeli
leaders went to war last Summer, not just to recover two kidnapped soldiers,
but in an attempt to destroy, or weaken, growing Hizbollah power on Israels
northern border. In that, they succeeded. Hizbollah no longer patrols the
Israeli border. Instead, there are 20,000 UN peacekeepers and Lebanese soldiers
between Israel and the Hizbollah forces, who are now 40 kilometers to the
north. Hizbollah claims a victory in last Summers war, because Mighty Israel
did not wipe them out. But Hizbollah did suffer a defeat, and was forced to
retreat from an area that was vital to them. Although Hizbollah has rearmed, it
must now fire rockets over UN peacekeepers, if they want to attack again, and that
could complicate things considerably. In Israel, the war with Hizbollah is
considered a flawed operation, that could have gone much better if there had
been well thought out preparations.
March 2, 2007:
A week long operation in Nablus, in the West Bank, and five battalions
of Israeli troops and police withdrew. Nine terrorists were arrested, four bomb
factories were destroyed and many weapons and documents seized. One Palestinian
was killed, and several were wounded.