May 1, 2006:
The Palestinian government is still broke. Even money sent by Moslem governments is not getting through, because banks will not transfer funds to the Palestinian Authority, for fear of retribution from the United States (which considers Hamas a terrorist organization, and sending money to terrorists is a crime.) The money can be smuggled in other ways (suitcases of cash and the like), but this is slow, and subject to leakage (theft). Meanwhile, the 165,000 Palestinians on the government payroll (who provide the largest source of income in the Palestinian territories) remain unpaid and increasingly angry. While Hamas is forming new security forces, some 80,000 of the existing government employees belong to over a dozen security organizations, and are still loyal to Fatah. Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah man, was elected separately (from the legislature, which Hamas controls) last year and causes as much trouble for Hamas as he can. Hamas risks an armed rebellion if it fires thousands of the pro-Fatah security personnel. There is liable to be Palestinian civil war sooner, rather than later. Fatah wants to get back in power, and can make a strong case that, with Fatah, the foreign charity will return.
April 30, 2006: Hamas is negotiating with Israel and foreign donors to come up with a plan where Hamas can say the right things to make it possible for foreign groups to resume subsidizing the Palestinian government. Hamas does not want to change its goal of destroying Israel, but wants to make a deal where it can tell the right lies to get the money going again. The Europeans are willing to go along with this, the Americans less so. The Israelis have decided to wall off the Palestinians and have nothing to do with them.
April 29, 2006: In the West Bank, Palestinians threw a bomb at an army post, but there were no injuries. On the Egyptian border, Palestinian police found another smuggling tunnel. Fewer of these tunnels are being discovered now that the Palestinians control the Gaza border with Egypt. The tunnels are used to bring in drugs, weapons and other illegal items.
Israel has decided to quickly erect a temporary security fence through parts of Jerusalem, as several terrorist bombers have entered Israel via Jerusalem. The 760 kilometer security fence is half completed, after four years of work.
April 28, 2006: Palestinian terrorists have again fired Kassam rockets into Israel, from Gaza. Israeli artillery returned fire. Israel believes the Palestinian Authority is allowing the smuggling of factory made (Russian designed) rocket parts.
April 26, 2006: Five terrorist bombs went off in Egypt this week, all in the Sinai peninsula. Three went off in tourist resorts on the Red Sea, killing over twenty people. Two more went off in the north, but killed no one but the suicide bombers. Egypt has long had problems with Islamic terrorists, mainly because the Egyptian government is inefficient and corrupt. Because of similar bombings in the last few years, few Israelis go to the Egyptian Red Sea resorts any more. All the victims of this weeks attacks were Egyptians or non-Israeli foreigners.
April 23, 2006: Israel launched another spy satellite, using a Russian launch rocket ("boosters"), in Russia, to do it. Israel has used its own boosters before, but these have proved less reliable than Russian boosters. The new spy satellite, EROS B, is actually a dual use bird, that will sell photos to the public and foreign governments. But not to Iran. The new satellite will be used to keep an eye on Iran's nuclear weapons program, and Israel made no secret of that.