October 15, 2006:
Samir Jaja, an unconventional Christian politician in Lebanon., has been making some strong speeches against Hizbollah lately. Apparently this is resonating with Christian Lebanese, and some Sunni are beginning to pay attention too. It's generally forgotten that, in early July, just before Hizbollah made their raid into Israel, Lebanese legislators were trying to disarm the Shia terrorist organization. Hizbollah, to most Lebanese, is an unpleasant reminder of the fifteen year civil war (1975-90) that tore the country part. That one was started by Palestinian refugees getting involved in Lebanese politics, for their benefit, not Lebanon's. This time around, we have Iran and Syria pulling the strings, via Hizbollah. The country (minus Hizbollah) rose up last year and forced the Syrians to withdraw their troops from Hizbollah territory. Now, after savoring the Hizbollah "victory," and looking at what it's going to cost to pay for it, the Christian/Sunni/Druze are again focusing on getting rid of Hizbollah, and any more of these "victories."
October 14, 2006: The violence in Gaza is increasing, with half a dozen, or more, Palestinians being killed each day by Israeli counter-terror forces. The Israeli intelligence system appears to be intact, and perhaps getting better, inside Gaza. There are plenty of Palestinian terrorists getting identified, and killed by missiles. This is probably because the money offered local agents is worth a lot more because of the cut-off of most foreign aid.
October 13, 2006: Two more Palestinian rockets landed in southern Israel, but there were no injuries. The early warning system worked again, sounding the alarm before the missiles hit, allowing people to quickly take shelter. Over a thousand of these rockets have been fired out of Gaza since 2000, killing five people, and wounding over thirty.
October 12, 2006: Hamas appears convinced that if the suffering gets bad enough in Gaza, European aid groups, and pro-Hamas groups in general, will be able to force European government to restore foreign aid.
Meanwhile, Israel is cracking down on Israeli firms that are smuggling Palestinian workers into Israel. Recently, some 3,000 illegal Palestinians were arrested. Four of them were believed to be terrorists. Another 13 Israelis were arrested for helping the Palestinians get into Israel.
October 11, 2006: The Palestinian territories are becoming more chaotic. New groups, inspired by Arab media, are trying to "turn Gaza into Baghdad," One of them kidnapped a pro-Palestinian American volunteer aid worker, but was forced to give him up by Fatah gunmen. Fatah doesn't want to anger the few American allies it has left. Hamas is building up its armed militia, and mustering as much cash as it can from foreign donors (Iran and Sunni radical groups), to keep it's militias paid and loyal. Fatah is also preparing for war, with aid coming from less militant Arab governments, as well as the United States and Israel. While Fatah still backs terrorism, many in Fatah now believe that terrorism won't work. The Israelis have shut down the Palestinian terror campaign for over two years now, and nothing the terrorists can do seems to be able to turn that around. The recent Hizbollah "victory" in Lebanon has quickly turned to ashes, another Arab illusion that grabs headlines and little else.
October 10, 2006: Meanwhile, Syrian dictator Bashir Asad is under pressure to "demand" a renegotiation of the Golan armistice terms, or possibly even try to push some other demands on Israel. Asad is being forced to do this as a way of keeping more radical elements in Syria happy. The situation is very unstable in Syria, with the Shia (Alawite) minority at risk of losing control after decades of running the place. The Sunni majority is fed up with the poverty, police state conditions and all those radical groups taking shelter in the country. Some radical elements in the Alawite community see a confrontation with Israel as a good way to distract the Sunni Syrians. But Israel refuses to talk to Syria as long as Syria provides safe haven for terror groups bent on the destruction of Israel.