July 6, 2012: Both Hamas and Fatah are facing more popular resistance to their rule. Neither group will allow fair elections. In effect, Fatah and Hamas are self-perpetuating political parties that live off the populations they control. This is the sort of thing that got the Arab Spring uprisings going last year. Fatah and Hamas felt they were immune to that sort of unrest because for decades Palestinians had been bombarded with "Israel must be destroyed before anything else" propaganda. A growing number of Palestinians are questioning these priorities. While most Palestinians still want to destroy Israel and kill lots of Jews, they also feel that their leaders are corrupt and exploitative and holding them back more than the Israelis. Hamas and Fatah are fighting back, arresting and jailing political activists and accusing them of working for Israel. Meanwhile, the Arab states that provide most of the money to keep the Hamas and Fatah bureaucracies going are cutting back. The donor states are fed up with the Palestinian's self-destructive tendencies, as well as the corruption that sees so much of the aid money disappear into foreign bank accounts. This cash shortage is making Fatah and Hamas even more unpopular because one of their most effective ways of maintaining power was to carefully distribute government jobs to those best able to rally popular support (or at least suppress disruptive activity) for the corrupt leadership.
Israel has developed a new sensor technology for detecting tunnels. The system passed tests and the first ten kilometers of the Gaza border is being equipped. Hamas builds tunnels under the Israeli border in order to get terrorists or kidnapping teams into Israel.
A terrorist group fired a rocket into Israel, causing no damage.
July 5, 2012: A mortar shell was fired from Gaza into Israel, causing no damage.
On the sixth anniversary of the war with Hezbollah, Israeli army commanders revealed that the Israeli military had undergone many changes since then in order to defeat Hezbollah more rapidly the next time around. Even so, Hezbollah has received a lot more rockets from Iran and there will initially be more damage to Israel than in 2006. There will also be more damage to Lebanese villages that serve as rocket storage and launching sites.
July 3, 2012: The Syrian dictator Hafez Assad expressed regret for Syrian guns or missiles shooting down a Turkish F-4 jet on June 22nd, explaining that the aircraft was believed to be Israeli. In southern Lebanon, Hezbollah claimed that three Israel eavesdropping devices, which tapped landline telephones, blew up when they were discovered. Hezbollah has, for years, claimed that Israeli agents plant all manner of eavesdropping devices in southern Lebanon. Increasingly these are built to self-destruct, usually by remote control.
July 2, 2012: Israeli warplanes made two attacks in Gaza, against terrorists preparing to launch rockets into Israel.
Hamas "temporarily" suspended voter registration in Gaza. A new election to determine who would rule the Palestinians was part of a peace deal between Hamas and Fatah. Some Hamas leaders apparently believe Fatah is more skilled in manipulating elections and has an unfair advantage.
July 1, 2012: Hamas has shut down nearly all the rocket and mortar firing by more radical terrorist groups in Gaza. More than 150 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel in June. In response to Hamas calming things down, Israel has resumed the ceasefire that was agreed to in April, 2011. Hamas controlled media still backs the eventual destruction of Israel. But for the moment Hamas has more pressing problems. The Gaza economy is a mess, largely because of attacks on Israel. Fatah is still a threat, as is the growing number of smaller, but more radical, terrorist groups. Then there is Egypt, which sort-of has a new government which might be willing to provide much more support for the Hamas plan to destroy Israel.
June 30, 2012: The newly elected president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, was sworn in. But in the weeks before that happened, the army (in the form of an interim government) unilaterally enacted laws that deprived the presidency of most of its powers. The military backed Supreme Court also ruled the newly elected, pro-Morsi parliament illegal. An Islamic conservative, Morsi is backing away from earlier promises to impose Islamic law and assume a hostile stance against Israel. Morsi has also stopped saying nice things about Islamic terrorists. Morsi has to deal with the military first, one of the most corrupt institutions in the country and one not prepared to surrender any of its wealth and power. Morsi has an opportunity to use his office and access to Egyptian media to organize an effective military reform movement. He has to do this before the army suspects it is in danger, gets desperate, and tries to kill him.
June 29, 2012: Near the Libyan border, Egyptian police seized 138 122mm rockets (with a range of about 20 kilometers) and some other weapons, that were smuggled in from Libya and apparently headed for a buyer in Gaza.
June 28, 2012: Hamas revealed that another one of their leaders (Kamal Hussein Ghannaja) was killed yesterday, in Syria, by what was described as assassins. Most Hamas leaders have left Syria because Hamas refused to join Shia Iran in backing the Shia Assad dictatorship in Syria. Iran is at war with many Sunni factions. Sunni Islam is the dominant form (about 80 percent of Moslems) and many conservative Sunni consider Shia (about ten percent of Moslems) to be heretics. Although Iran was a major supporter (weapons, cash, and terrorist training) of Hamas, other Sunni Moslem nations provided more cash and Hamas had to choose sides in Syria. The dead Hamas man in Syria was in charge of smuggling Iranian weapons into Gaza. Ghannaja had lots of enemies in Syria but Hamas blamed Israel for his death.