July 23, 2010:
Egypt has failed to make much of a reduction in smuggling tunnel operations into Gaza. The Egyptian government made some efforts to curb the bribery of border guards, but failed. An underground metal "fence" was placed along the border, but the tunnel builders easily burned through this. The U.S. provided sensors that could detect the tunnels, but the Egyptians did not use this equipment to shut down tunnels. The corrupt Egyptian border guard have made some effort to control the weapons and Islamic terrorists going into Gaza, but this often meant that higher bribes were required.
The battles between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah are getting harder to hide. The Arab media, considers Gaza-based Hamas a tool of Iran (which is seen as an enemy of all Arabs), and is giving a lot more coverage to Hamas misdeeds. Western media are picking up on this, as well as Hamas claims that West Bank-based Fatah is also arresting, torturing Hamas supporters in the West Bank. The Western media doesn't like to cover Arabs mistreating each other, because that is not considered unusual, but the Iran angle has greatly agitated the Arab media, and the Iran angle gets a lot more attention in the West. Meanwhile, peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are stalled because of Palestinian infighting and demands for a lot of preconditions from Israel. Palestinian media indicate that the peace talks are not about peace, but just a step on the road to the destruction of Israel.
Despite providing the UN (and the public) with aerial photos of Hezbollah rockets in southern Lebanon, the UN peacekeeping force insists that they have seen no such weapons. But the UN also says that it is not its mission to search for Hezbollah weapons. That's the job of the Lebanese army, but the Lebanese avoid it. The army has caught a few trucks (apparently by accident) bringing in rockets, but generally looks the other way. Hezbollah has told the Lebanese government that there would be another civil war if the government interfered with the Hezbollah buildup in the south.
Lebanon has been shaken by the large number (158) of Israeli spies discovered in the last 18 months. Some escaped to Israel, but many were arrested and questioned. This revealed a much more extensive espionage network in Lebanon than anyone had expected. There are believed to be a lot more Israeli agents still at work, and the government has refused to impose the death penalty. Some Hezbollah members were also revealed as Israeli spies. All this was brought on by Iran sending skilled counter-intelligence agents, and high-tech equipment, which detected evidence of the Israeli espionage effort.
Month by month, Hamas imposes more lifestyle restrictions on Palestinians in Gaza. The latest one is forbidding women from smoking tobacco in water pipes. This is usually done in cafes, where Palestinians socialize. Hamas police have been chasing women out of these cafes, and in some cases telling then men they could no longer use the water pipes either. Women have already been banned from riding on motorcycles (a common form of transportation) and coerced into dressing more conservatively. The lifestyle police increasingly harass men who dress in Western clothes. These lifestyles are very unpopular, but have not angered enough Palestinians to cause a violent rebellion, at least not yet.
July 22, 2010: In Gaza, a Palestinian terrorist died when a mortar shell he was firing into Israel exploded prematurely and killed him.
July 21, 2010: In north Gaza, Israeli troops fired on a group of armed Palestinians approaching the security fence, killing two of them, and wounding seven.
July 20, 2010: Israeli police arrested six West Bank Palestinians and charged them with belonging to Hamas and killing an Israeli police officer last month. The arrested men belonged to a terrorist cell that planned to commit a lot more crimes.
July 19, 2010: The Israeli Iron Dome anti-rocket system passed its final acceptance tests, and one battery will be deployed on the Gaza border by the end of the year. Up to six other batteries will be placed in storage, and deployed only for some training, or if there is a major rocket threat from Gaza or Lebanon.
July 17, 2010: Israeli troops fired on two Palestinians trying to cross the security fence and get into Israel's Negev desert. The soldiers opened fire, and the two Palestinians ran back into Gaza.
July 13, 2010: Israeli troops moved into northern Gaza at night, to destroy terrorist facilities and disrupt attacks on Israel. There was some firing and explosions.
July 12, 2010: An Israeli investigation into the violence encountered during the May 31st effort to halt ships from landing in Gaza, criticized military intelligence for not detecting the presence of dozens of Islamic militants on one of the ships. It was on this ship that Israeli commandos were attacked, and nine of the attackers killed. In hindsight, it was clear that Islamic militants were involved with this group of ships, and there was plenty of evidence broadcast beforehand in the Arab and Turkish media.