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No One Wants The West Bank
by James Dunnigan
December 1, 2009

The war continues. Israeli troops and police continue their raids into the West Bank and Gaza. Meanwhile, the Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza remain unable to settle their differences. Although the Hamas government in Gaza is less corrupt, it's efforts to impose Islamic conservative lifestyle rules on Palestinians is not popular at all. Hamas has Iranian advisors instructing them on how to set up a police state apparatus that will keep the population in line. This has worked in Iran, and this is apparently what Hamas wants to do in Gaza. This makes many West Bank Palestinians uneasy. While these Palestinians would prefer a less corrupt, and more efficient (than Fatah) government (like Hamas), they don't want the clerical police state that comes with it. Meanwhile, a majority (about 57 percent) of Israelis are willing to negotiate with Hamas, even though Hamas makes no secret of its ultimate goal (the destruction of Israel). The Palestinians believe that their higher birthrate, and undying hatred of Israel will eventually prevail in the long run. Most Israelis are hoping that the Palestinians will change their minds in the long run. In the short term, most Israelis are willing to pay the Israeli settlers to leave their West Bank settlements (and use force for those who refuse) and give the Palestinians their own state, if that will calm everyone down. The West Bank Palestinians, in the meantime, are trying to get the UN to simply pass a resolution declaring the establishment of a Palestinian state. This could force Israel to take over running the West Bank, which Israel does not want to do. No one wants to be responsible for the West Bank, not even the Palestinians.

Hezbollah is openly boasting of its spy network along the Israeli border. Israel believes that Hezbollah agents are constantly photographing Israeli border guard activity, and sometimes sneaking across the border to do so. It is believed that some Israeli Arabs are also spying for Hezbollah.

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