September 4, 2007:
announced a five year plan for the armed forces, which features more money for
the army (the formation of another armored division and more training for the
troops), two U.S. Littoral Combat Ships for the navy, and dozens of American
F-35 warplanes for the air force.
September 3, 2007: Not
all the explosions in Gaza, of late, have been Israeli missiles fired at
terrorist leaders, or because bomb builders make mistakes. There have been at
least five explosions near Hamas security force compounds. These appear to be
part of a Fatah effort to terrorize Hamas supporters.
September 2, 2007: After
three months, Lebanese security forces finally cleared all the al Qaeda
terrorists out of a Palestinian refugee camp (actually a walled town of over
31,000) outside Tripoli. The operation left over 300 dead (half of them
soldiers and police, and several dozen civilians) and most of the Palestinians
were forced to flee the camp. It may be months before the camp is repaired, and
mines and booby traps, set up by the terrorists, removed. The terrorist leader
was killed in the final attack, and dozens were captured. The battle was a big deal in Lebanon, where
Lebanese have long resented Palestinians bringing violence to the country, and
supporting terrorism that has made Lebanese politics more violent. The al Qaeda
terrorists are believed to be the pawns of Syria, which claims Lebanon as part of
September 1, 2007: Anti-Hamas demonstrations in Gaza are being
attacked with increasing violence by Hamas security forces and street thugs.
Foreign journalists are a particular target, because Hamas considers these demonstrations
disloyal and embarrassing. Several hundred Fatah supporters have been jailed in
Gaza, and an even larger number of Hamas supporters have been locked up in the
August 31, 2007: In the
last month, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired 92 rockets and 118 mortar
shells into Israel. In response, Israel has used UAVs and ground spotters to
watch the areas in northern Gaza where the rockets and mortars are fired from.
Artillery fire is then called in, and many attacks are stopped. But the
Palestinians do not treat these launching areas as combat zones, and allow
civilians, particularly kids, to wander around looking for scrap metal or
whatever. From time to time, children or adult civilians get caught in the
artillery fire, and the Palestinian media has a field day.
August 29, 2007: Fatah
now plans to hold new elections, and elect a new Palestinian Authority
government, without Hamas participation, or votes from Gaza. Meanwhile, many
Fatah officials and members are calling for Fatah to reform itself and cut out
the corruption. That does not seem likely to happen.