Israel: Theater To Die For


May 31, 2010: Although Hezbollah makes a lot of noise about their growing military power and how they will defeat Israel if there is another fight, the Hezbollah leadership operate according to another reality. The senior Hezbollah officials are in hiding most of the time, and move carefully, apparently fearful of Israeli surveillance and attack.

In Gaza, months of Egyptian controls on smuggling cash into Gaza, and Hamas use of the banking system, have cut Hamas income. Only partial salaries have been paid to 30,000 people on their payroll (mostly armed men, to keep the population under control) in the last three months. Hamas needs about $16 million a month to operate, with most of that money coming from Iran and wealthy Arabs. Only about ten percent comes from taxes in Gaza, and raising those taxes has made Hamas even more unpopular. But Hamas has established a police state, and has thousands of armed Islamic radicals who are willing to kill, and die, for the cause of Hamas controlling Gaza.

May 30, 2010: The Israeli navy surrounded, and commandos boarded and took control of, the pro-Hamas ships trying to force their way into Gaza. This surprised the activists on the ships, who apparently expected the Israelis to make their move on Monday morning, as the ships were in Israeli waters and it was light out. But the Israeli commandos came in at night, to minimize resistance, and casualties. There were many pro-Hamas activists on the ships, willing to fight the Israelis, and even get "martyred" for the cause (of destroying Israel and sustaining Hamas rule). There were plans to get children on deck, and use them as human shields. The donors of tons of supplies in the three cargo ships, could have landed the supplies at an Israeli port, and have them shipped legally into Gaza (where supplies arrive daily that way.) But the pro-Hamas activists want Israeli control over what goes in, or out, of Gaza, to be removed, so that terrorists can move weapons in and attackers out, at will. Egypt and Israel refuse to go along with this, as both nations have been attacked by the many Islamic terror groups that have established themselves in Gaza. Wealthy Arabs, Turkish politicians and European leftists (who put together this "rescue fleet" stunt) still glamorize Palestinian terror groups, even though these outfits kill more Arabs, and cause more misery to Arabs, than to Israelis. It's all about the message, not the reality. But even many European politicians have got behind the concept of Hamas as a victim, not a ruthless terror organization striving to carry out mass murder and impose religious dictatorship over the region. It's another case of reality taking second place to what's politically fashionable.

May 29, 2010: Israeli warplanes bombed a weapons workshop in Gaza, as well as a smuggling tunnel to Egypt. This was in retaliation for a rocket and mortar shell  fired into Israel on the 27th. In another tunnel, a cooking gas canister exploded while being moved through a tunnel, killing six people and collapsing the tunnel.

Two more rockets were fired into Israel, to no effect.

May 27, 2010: Two Israeli Arabs were indicted for spying for Hezbollah for the last two years. Meanwhile, in the south, a rocket and a mortar shell were fired into Israel from Gaza, to no effect.

May 25, 2010: Israeli warplanes bombed an abandoned airbase in southern Gaza, after rockets were fired into Israel from the area.

May 23, 2010: In Gaza, twenty armed men attacked a UN sponsored children's Summer camp, destroying much of what was already there. They tied up the night watchman, and left a message for the UN, ordering them to leave Gaza. The armed men were believed from one of the Islamic radical groups that believe Hamas is not nasty enough with non-Moslem gtoups like the UN. Hamas later arrested several of the men involved in the UN camp attack. Meanwhile, in southern Lebanon, elections were held, often with only Hezbollah candidates running. The Shia terrorist organization discouraged anyone from running against Hezbollah men. Despite the presence of UN peacekeepers, Hezbollah is still able to bully and intimidate locals without interference from Lebanese or UN troops.

May 22, 2010: In Gaza, Hamas arrested what they described as an "Egyptian intelligence officer" and returned him to Egypt. Despite this, Egypt is known to have an extensive informer network in Gaza. The high unemployment rate, and growing hostility to Hamas, makes it easy to recruit informants, and Hamas apparently identified and expelled one of the Egyptian intel officers who ran part of the informant network.

May 21, 2010: Four years of Israeli efforts to get their soldier (Gilad Shalit) released have gone nowhere. Hamas has demanded that convicted murders be released in exchange for Shalit, but that is politically impossible in Israel. So Israel is trying something else. Hamas prisoners are having their privileges sharply restricted. Only visits from lawyers and the Red Cross will be allowed (Shalit has had no such visits), and additional restrictions will be adopted, so that Hamas prisoners live under similar (but still better) conditions as Shalit does.

On the Gaza border, an Israeli soldier was wounded by a Palestinian sniper. This happened during an operation to stop several Palestinians from sneaking into Israel. Two of the Palestinians were killed.





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