Israel: Building Better Illusions


September 18, 2006: Israeli troops in Lebanon have now withdrawn to within 3-5 kilometers of the Israeli border. Israel takes a dim view of the 30,000 peacekeeping troops (half Lebanese and half UN) entering south Lebanon. This force has no mandate to disarm Hizbollah, and that means Hizbollah can launch more attacks on Israel.
September 17, 2006: Hamas and Fatah are trying to form a coalition government, one that would allow the foreign aid to resume. Because Hamas will not renounce its goal of destroying Israel, most foreign aid has been halted. But a coalition government could say that the "government" now recognized Israel's right to exist, even if one faction of the government (Hamas) did not. The coalition is not easy to form, because of disputes over which party gets control over which government functions. It's also understood that the Fatah ministers will be more interested in corruption (stealing the aid money), while the Hamas ministers will concentrate on supporting terror operations against Israel.
September 16, 2006: After several weeks of relative peace, the gunfire can again be heard in Gaza. This time, four Fatah intelligence officials were gunned down. This is expected to revive the open warfare between Hamas and Fatah gunmen.
September 15, 2006: Five Christian churches in Gaza and the West Bank were attacked by Moslems, upset over remarks by the Pope (who said that Moslems were violent).
September 14, 2006: Hizbollah announced that it will not leave south Lebanon. The Lebanese army commander says that is is all right, but that no armed Hizbollah will be tolerated. However, the army will not go searching for Hizbollah weapons storage areas.
September 12, 2006: The ceasefire in south Lebanon is holding, and the Lebanese army has said it will not tolerate armed Hizbollah men wandering around. This pledge has not been tested yet.


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