February 18, 2008: Israel has declared
war on the Hamas leadership, and given the security services permission to do
whatever they can to wipe out the Hamas officials involved in attacks on
Israel. In (unofficial) cooperation with Fatah, which has the support of half,
or more, of the Gaza population, Israel hopes to destroy Hamas in a few months.
Fatah publicly condemns Israeli attacks on Hamas, but privately takes advantage
of it by taking control of more neighborhoods in Gaza. Fatah support provides
Israel with more information on who Hamas leaders are, where they are and when.
This has led to more frequent missile attacks, leaving over a dozen Hamas
leaders dead in the last two weeks. There have also been more Israeli raids on
the ground, and more Hamas personnel captured. The Hamas leadership consists of
several hundred men, most of them known by name to the Israelis. If most of
these guys feel they are likely to get killed, or captured, in the near future,
this will have a demoralizing effect on Hamas as a whole.
February 16, 2008: Now Hamas wants to discuss a ceasefire with
Israel. Hamas has an Israeli soldier it took in 2006, and is willing to trade
him for some kind of arrangement that would end the economic blockade. But
Israel will insist on the Kassam rocket attacks stopping, and Hamas may not be
able to stop all the terrorist factions involved in that. But at least Hamas is
willing to talk about what it can, and cannot, do.
February 14, 2008: Hizbollah, enraged
at the death of their terrorism leader, Imad Mughnieh, has "declared war" on
Israel. This puts Hizbollah in a difficult position. To make another rocket
attack, like it did in 2006, would mean fighting UN peacekeepers now in
southern Lebanon. Mindful of that. Hizbollah says it will go after Israeli
leaders. But since Arab suicide bombers have been defeated by Israeli
counter-terror tactics, Hizbollah will have to come up with some new tactics
and techniques first.
February 12, 2008: Imad Mughnieh, a senior
Hizbollah terrorist commander, was killed by a car bomb in Syria. Israel was
blamed. The CIA and Mossad have been trying to capture or kill Mughnieh for
over 25 years. The Mossad has been more successful of late, being blamed for
the death of at least six senior terrorist leaders in the last eight years.
Mossad rarely acknowledges a kill, but they appear to have a powerful agent
network in Lebanon and Syria.
February 9, 2008: Egyptian public
opinion has become more hostile towards Hamas, mainly because of the way the
Gaza border was torn down, and Egyptian border guards attacked. Hamas is also
seen as supporting Islamic terrorists who seek to make attacks inside Egypt. As
a result of all this, Egypt is supporting Fatah's efforts to regain control of
February 8, 2008: Hamas took credit for
the suicide bomb attack in Israel four days ago, which was the first time Hamas
had done that since 2004. In response, Israel has increased its missile attacks
on known Hamas targets. It's become more dangerous to work for Hamas, or to be
a leader in the organization. At least twenty Palestinians have died since the
suicide bombing, and Hamas has refused a Fatah offer to help negotiate a
February 7, 2008: In Gaza, Hamas seized
a truck convoy of aid coming in from Jordan. Rather than let the Jordanians
distribute the aid, Hamas will do that itself. This way, Hamas ensures that
anti-Hamas groups get nothing. The Jordanians protested, but were ignored.
February 6, 2008: Because of Egypt's
inability to maintain the Gaza border, and the danger of Palestinian terrorists
getting into Egypt, Israel is building a more secure fence along its 230 kilometers
border with Egypt. The fence will cost over a million dollars a kilometers.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian rocket landed in southern Israel, wounding an eight
year old kid and infuriating public opinion.