Israel: Hamas And Hezbollah Plan Final Battle

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October 22, 2008: In the West Bank, Palestinian radicals have encouraged the greater use of gasoline bombs (gas or kerosene in a bottle with a lit rag as a fuze) for attacks on soldiers and Israeli settlers. The fire bombs make for more spectacular visuals and are more likely to injure their targets. In response, the police and soldiers have been shooting to kill when the fire bombs appear, or are suspected. The Palestinians, and most of the foreign media, tend to spin this as Israeli troops murdering Palestinian children (teenagers are the most eager to use the fire bombs, and the least fearful of the consequences).

Lebanon remains deadlocked between the meek Christian/Sunni/Druze majority and the  Shia, Hezbollah dominated, minority. The majority of Lebanese would like to be free of Hezbollah and Syrian terrorism, but do not want to trigger another civil war. Hezbollah is led by Shia religious fanatics who don't care how much damage they cause, because they are on a Mission From God to destroy Israel and turn the entire region into an Islamic religious dictatorship. The Lebanese compromise by continually complaining to the UN, and the world, about the regular Israeli reconnaissance missions over Lebanon. What these photo recon aircraft are watching is Hezbollah bring more rockets, and other weapons, from Syria into southern Lebanon. The UN peacekeepers ignore this (after Hezbollah threatened to go all terrorist on them if they made a stink), and the Lebanese government just complains about the Israeli recon flights.

In Gaza, Hamas has copied Hezbollah (with the help of Hezbollah advisors) and created a dictatorship dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Many, perhaps even a majority, of the 1.4 million Gaza Palestinians now oppose Hamas, but they keep quiet. Hamas police have crushed all the family based gangs that long dominated the Gaza economy. The gangs are still there, but mainly to make money. Hundreds of tunnels from Egypt bring in mostly commercial goods (including live stock like calves and sheep to be slaughtered for the Moslem religious holidays), but also weapons (especially longer range rockets for the big attack on Israel). Hamas gets enough money and foreign food and medical aid to keep the population alive. Fatah is allowed to pay 70,000 civil servants in Gaza (for not working, and continuing to silently support Fatah). Hamas gets enough cash from Iran and Gulf Arab fans each month to pay salaries to 20,000 of its own supporters. Hamas also taxes the tunnel operations, and anyone making money. Thus Hamas survives, but does not thrive. Hamas is apparently planning to set up a separate Palestinian state, dedicated to terrorism and radicalism. Hamas is on a Mission From God, so logic and reality have little to do with their long range planning. There is some kind of plan, apparently involving Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

Egypt is trying to crack down on the smuggling of arms and terrorists via the Gaza tunnels, while not upsetting the non-terrorist smugglers. The latter are far more numerous, and cracking down on them would antagonize many of the Bedouin clans in Sinai. However, Hamas pays high fees for weapons to be brought in via the tunnels, and a lot of  Egyptians are getting rich off this arms trade. The Egyptians fear that Gaza will become a base for  Egyptian terrorists. So far, Hamas appears to have forbidden that, or is keeping any Egyptian Islamic terrorists it is sheltering under wraps.

October 21, 2008: For the first time in nearly a month, a rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel. In landed in the desert and no one was injured. Israel closed the Gaza crossings and demanded that Hamas arrest the culprits. A new terrorist group in Gaza, "the Brigades of Hezbollah in Palestine," took credit for the rocket.

The Gaza ceasefire ends next month. Hamas wants a three month extension, because they do not believe they have stockpiled sufficient rockets for a decisive attack (in conjunction with Hezbollah in Lebanon) on Israel. But Israel is not keen on an extension unless their captured soldier is released. Israel has used the ceasefire to build up defenses (against rocket attacks) in southern Israel, and would not like to return to military operations inside Gaza, to weaken Hamas military preparations.

October 14, 2008: In the West Bank, an Israeli ambush patrol caught three Palestinian teenagers, carrying more than ten fire bombs, moving towards an Israeli settlement. One Palestinian, a 18 year old, was killed, while the other two ran away in the dark. Ten fire bombs were recovered at the scene.

 


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