Israel: Waiting For The Other Guy To Disappear

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November 10, 2008: Peace deals with the Palestinians still don't work. Despite the assistance of Fatah, the West Bank is still full of terrorists, and hostile Palestinians who simply attack any Israelis they can get close to. Hamas cannot, or will not, control terrorist groups in Gaza, and rockets and mortar shells continue to be fired from Gaza into southern Israel.

The Israeli settler movement gets a lot of blame for the friction, but the settlers were removed from Gaza when Israeli security forces left Gaza three years ago. The result? Now Gaza has become a terrorist base, spewing "Israel must be destroyed" propaganda. The settlers believe the Gaza experience justifies breaking the law to expand the settlements in the West Bank. There, a quarter million Jewish settlers live among ten times as many Palestinians. Most adult male settlers belong to the army reserve, and six battalions of police that look after the West Bank settlements are pro-settler. The settlers believe their presence prevents West Bank terrorism from becoming stronger, and many non-settler Israelis agree. But the settlers terrorize the Palestinians around them, providing endless fodder for pro-Palestinian propagandists. The issue has split Israel politically, and created a radical fringe of settlers who are threatening a program of assassinations against Israeli politicians who oppose the settlements.

Despite the many breaches of the ceasefire agreement in Gaza, Israel has agreed to continue talks with Hamas and Fatah. Hamas now says it is willing to make peace with Israel if there is a return to the 1967 borders. But that means Israel giving up Jerusalem, which the majority of Israelis will not do. Moreover, Hamas continues to spew its "Israel Must Be Destroyed" propaganda internally, especially to children, indicating that their long term goal is not peace. Hamas also preaches, usually just in its Arab language propaganda, that making a peace deal with Israel is a good tactic, to take the pressure off Hamas while forces are built up for a decisive strike against the enemy. But Israel might go for some kind of peace deal with Hamas, in the hope that the Hamas will eventually irritate Palestinians sufficiently to trigger an anti-Hamas backlash. The inability of Hamas to get the Gaza economy going, and the increasing intrusiveness of the Hamas lifestyle police is a long term liability for Hamas. Meanwhile

November 8, 2008: Eight more rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza, but Hamas says it is willing to continue maintaining that the ceasefire still exists, if the Israelis will.

November 7, 2008: On the Gaza border, Israeli troops exchanged fire with Palestinian terrorists, who fired to RPG rockets at Israeli troops who were destroying two Palestinian roadside bombs.

November 6, 2008: Israel completed a four day military exercise in the north, in preparation for another rocket attack by Hezbollah. Israel is preparing for Syria to join in next time.

November 5, 2008: Palestinians fired several dozen Kassam rockets into Israel from Gaza, in retaliation for the  Israeli raid yesterday to take out the Palestinian kidnapping tunnel.

November 4, 2008:  Israeli troops entered Gaza for the first time since the June 19th ceasefire, in order to destroy a 250 meter long tunnel Palestinian terrorists were digging under the security fence. The terrorists apparently planned to use the tunnel to try and kidnap Israeli soldiers for ransom. The Israeli ground operation was accompanied by air attacks. At least seven Hamas gunmen were killed, mostly by air attack. Two years ago, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza used a similar tunnel to grab an Israeli soldier, whose ransom is still being negotiated (Hamas wants hundreds more convicted terrorists freed than the Israelis are willing to let go).

 


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