Israel continues to battle Palestinian propaganda portraying last years Israeli attack on Gaza a wanton war crime, and not an attempt to halt Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israel. Islamic nations in the UN support the "Israel is a war criminal" angle, and have encouraged leftists and anti-Semites in the West to join in the campaign to get Israel turned into a pariah nation. The latest ploy is spreading rumors that Israeli relief teams in Haiti are really their to steal organs for transplants. Meanwhile, the continuing effort to turn Palestinian terrorists into virtuous freedom fighters has been much less successful, because of the association with Islamic terrorists. While many of the Fatah aligned Palestinian terrorists are basically secular, the Hamas aligned groups are mostly Islamic radicals. Egypt and Jordan, despite paying lip service to Israeli "war crimes", are allied with the Israelis in counter-terrorism activities against Palestinian radical groups, and Islamic terrorists in general.
Egypt indicted 26 men (including two Lebanese and five Palestinians) for planning terror attacks inside Egypt, and spying for Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Eighteen of the suspects were accused of providing Hezbollah with information for at least five years. Some of the suspects were involved smuggling weapons into Gaza.
Israel has told Syria that if Hezbollah uses the new Fateh-110 missiles, that they apparently received from Syria, Israel will bomb Syria. The three ton, solid fuel, ballistic missiles have a range of 250 kilometers and carry a half ton warhead. These missiles are actually manufactured in Syria (and called M-600). The Iranian version appears to be based on the Chinese DF-11.
February 1, 2010: Israel reprimanded a colonel and a general for authorizing the firing of several artillery shells, into a residential area near the UN compound in Gaza during the December-January 2009 battle in Gaza. Israeli forces operated under strict rules of engagement, partly because Hamas made wide use of human shields. Israeli troops were not to fire into residential areas unless fire was coming from them. The shells landing near the UN compound wounded several people. Israel paid the UN $10.5 million in compensation for any damage to their compound, and the surrounding area.
Palestinian terrorist groups took credit for barrels of explosives washing up on Israeli beaches recently. The barrel bombs were disposed of safely, and there were no casualties. The Palestinian terrorists are desperate for any kind of victory, so they proudly proclaim their ability to put barrels of explosives into the water, and have the current take it north to Israeli beaches. New Israeli counter-terror tactics shut down Palestinian terrorism, at least as far as effectiveness goes, five years ago. The Palestinians have not been able to come up with anything that works since then. This is a source of much frustration and humiliation within the Palestinian community.
January 25, 2010: Egypt has ignored all criticism from the Arab world, and pro-Palestinian groups in Europe, and vowed to complete the new anti-tunnel barrier they are building on their Gaza border. Egypt has become much more active in shutting down Hamas smuggling operations, fearing that these were supporting Islamic terrorists planning to operate inside Egypt, against the Egyptian government. Egypt sees this as being done for Iran. Egypt and Iran have been feuding of late, and Egypt does not like how Iran is supporting Hamas and other Islamic terror groups.
January 20, 2010: In Dubai, Hamas leader Mahmud Abdel Rauf al Mabhuh died under mysterious circumstances. Mabhuh was the head of Hamas weapons smuggling operations, and worked closely with Iranian officials to get Iranian rockets into Gaza. Dubai police at first admitted they didn't know who did it. Then the cops blamed unnamed criminals. Recently, the police are claiming that it must have been the Israelis, as Mabhuh was a prominent Hamas leader and foe of Israel. Mabhuh was based in Syria, but early in his career had participated in several terrorist operations against Israel, and was widely admired, in the Arab world, for his ability to kill Israelis. Hamas has vowed revenge.