Israel: Hamas Runs For Cover


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 Gaza.

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 ceasefire.

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.




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