2008: In Lebanon, Hezbollah is stronger,
in terms of combat forces (quantity, over 5,000, and quality, often given specialized training
in Syria or Iran, of gunmen), and
weapons (especially over 30,000 rockets aimed at Israel). In Gaza, Hamas is
having a lot of problems with Egypt, which wants Hamas to cut support for
Islamic terrorists, and make peace with Israel. To that end, Egypt refuses to
allow access to Egypt from Gaza. Worse, Egyptian police have been shutting down
one or more smuggling tunnels a day. That's over 40 tunnels in the last few
weeks. The gangs that build and use the tunnels are fighting back, but the
police, and additional soldiers assigned to the Gaza border, are too strong for
that to work. The smugglers are going to greater lengths to conceal the
tunnels, but it is believed that Israel has provided sensors that can find the
tunnels easily, and that, for a while at least, there will be a lot fewer
Fatah have speeded up closing down each other's institutions. Social welfare
agencies are how both organizations maintain popular support. But Hamas also
has religious schools, that are used to indoctrinate and train terrorists.
These schools are being shut down in the West Bank, and Israeli police continue
to raid that area for terrorist groups sponsored by Fatah and Hamas.
2008: Israel agreed to release another
200 Palestinians from prison, in return for continued cooperation from Fatah in
2008: An armed man was shot and captured
while trying to cross from Syria into Israel.
2008: The U.S. has agreed to set up a
ballistic missile early warning radar in the Negev desert. The portable radar
will be manned by American soldiers rotated in from bases in Europe. The radars
may arrive before the end of the year, but more likely, by early next year. This
radar will improve Israeli ability to detect missiles coming from Iran.
2008: Another rocket was fired into
Israel from Gaza. Israel closed all the crossings in retaliation. That will go
on for a few days, to remind Hamas that there are consequences for not being
able to control all the Islamic terrorists in Gaza.
2008: A recent opinion survey found
that, while a quarter of the respondents saw Iran or other Arab states as the
biggest threat to Israel, an equal number believed that corruption inside
Israel was an equal threat.