December 28, 2010: Recent news reports of Israeli electronic "spying equipment" being found in Lebanon was not about the equipment, which has been planted, and found, in Lebanon for at least three years. Some Lebanese media are trying to divert attention away from the investigation of political assassinations inside Lebanon, and the involvement of Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. This is working more outside of Lebanon than inside, where the Hariri murder is still a major issue with many Lebanese. Meanwhile, the Lebanese complain of increased Israeli air reconnaissance over Lebanon. These flights are largely to keep an eye on Hezbollah, which has rebuilt its military strength along the Israeli border, despite the presence of UN peacekeepers and Lebanese Army troops.
Iran announced that it had executed an Iranian, who was arrested two years ago, for spying for Israel. Capturing real Israeli spies is rare in Iran, and sometimes the government just designates someone an Israeli spy, then prosecutes and executes them.
Hamas says the truce is still in effect, although in the last ten days about 30 rockets and mortar shells have been fired into Israel from Gaza. Hamas says it can't control extremist groups that don't observe the ceasefire. But some Islamic terrorist groups (like al Qaeda) in Gaza openly complain of favoritism. Hamas tries much harder to prevent some groups from attacking Israel, while allowing others to pretty much fire at will. Hamas denies this, but does say that, while it will never recognize Israel's right to exist, it is interested in a long-term ceasefire. Hamas believes that it can eventually build up its military strength and, in cooperation with other Arab nations and terrorist groups, destroy Israel. In response to that, Israel says it will reoccupy Gaza if Hamas fires long range rockets at Israeli cities.
The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks continue to go nowhere. Palestinian media call the negotiations a tactic, not an objective, in the effort to destroy Israel. The Palestinians and Israelis understand this, but the rest of the world continues to call for a negotiated peace. While many Israelis would go along with this, most Palestinians are opposed, and, persuaded by over half a century of "destroy Israel" propaganda, to eliminate Israel, not negotiate with a country many Palestinians won't even recognize the existence of.
Israel revealed that, in the last week, Hamas had, for the first time, used a Russian Komet anti-tank missile to damage an Israeli tank. These tanks are now using the Trophy anti-missile system. Israel says this system has performed well in tests, but neither Hamas nor Israel will say how Trophy has done versus Komet. Hezbollah used Komet missiles four years ago in Lebanon, damaging 22 Israeli armored vehicles.
In Egypt, there are also reports of Israeli spying, but this all comes from one man, an Egyptian businessman who was caught assisting Israel to recruit people in the telecommunications business. This area has become a major part of Israeli espionage over the last decade, which accounts for more "Israeli spies" being caught. Egypt is also blaming Israel for attacking Egyptian tourism. One senior official that it was Israeli sharks (working for Mossad) that recently attacked foreign tourists in the Red Sea. Egypt is actually more worried about real terrorist activity in Gaza, and has built a new series of taller watch towers along the Gaza border. Equipped with vidcams and other sensors, these towers can observe more of what goes on inside Gaza (where Egypt also has a network of informants.)
A record number of tourists, 3.45 million, visited Israel in the past year. The number was up 26 percent from 2009. Most visitors come from United States, Russia and France, and they spent over $4 billion in the last year. A major draw has been the religious sites in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Tourism has now recovered from the drop it suffered when the Palestinians began their terrorism campaign in 2000. The Palestinians are still fighting that war, although Israelis consider it over.
December 26, 2010: On the Gaza border, two Palestinians were killed while they tried to plant a bomb next to the security fence (and road used by Israeli patrols.) Palestinian terrorists keep doing this, despite the fact that Israeli sensors keep detecting the activity.
December 25, 2010: Israeli warplanes attacked four targets in Gaza, in retaliation for rocket attacks on Israel the day before.
December 24, 2010: Israeli aircraft bombed three suspected weapons smuggling tunnels in Gaza. Elsehere in the area, Egyptian police captured anti-aircraft missiles in an isolated Sinai desert warehouse, apparently headed for those tunnels, and Hamas in Gaza. Four months ago, Egyptian police seized nearly 200 similar missiles in the Sinai, along with a lot of other weapons and ammunition. This stuff is coming from Iran, which smuggles the weapons and ammo in via Sudan and other African ports, then overland into Egypt.
December 21, 2010: Israeli warplanes attacked Hamas facilities in Gaza, after yesterday's rocket attacks on Israel (which intelligence indicated had actually been ordered by Hamas.)
December 18, 2010: Israeli warplanes attacked Gaza, to disrupt planned attacks on Israel.
December 11, 2010: Two Palestinian terrorists were killed on the Gaza border, and an Israeli soldier was wounded.