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Israel: The West Bank Peace Treaty
   Next Article → COLOMBIA: Dangerous When Cornered
June 29, 2007: Israel and Fatah are negotiating what amounts to a peace treaty. An informal deal, but perhaps one of the most effective ever worked out between the two antagonists. In return for Fatah really cracking down on Palestinian terrorists, Israel would dismantle much of its security system on the West Bank. There are 560 Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints in the West Bank, making it difficult for Palestinians to move around. There are 35 checkpoints controlling access into Israel, and 43 internal checkpoints within the West Bank. The check points require a document check and search before getting past. If there is an alert, many of the roadblocks will stop and search as well. All this is to make it more difficult for terrorists to organize and carry out attacks inside Israel. So far this has worked. But Israel will only take down the movement restrictions inside the West Bank if they can get convincing assurances that Fatah will crack down on the terrorists, and share information on terrorist activity with Israel. In return for this, Fatah gets foreign aid restored, as well as internal freedom of movement in the West Bank, and fewer Israeli police operations (to capture terrorists). Fatah is desperate, but it's not known if Fatah is competent enough to carry out its half of the bargain. If Fatah cannot contain the terrorists, the foreign aid will continue, but the West Bank lockdown will return.

June 28, 2007: Fatah has fired the senior security force commanders responsible for loss of Gaza to Hamas last month. Although Fatah had more armed men in Gaza than Hamas, after a few days fighting, and about 110 people killed, Fatah military forces were wiped out in Gaza. Now Fatah has to worry about the many Hamas supporters in the West Bank. Perhaps a third of the West Bank population has some degree of support for Hamas. Many of these people have guns, but so far there has been no one willing to come out shooting in support of Hamas.

June 27, 2007: Israeli ground forces raided suspected terror targets in Gaza, leaving twelve Palestinians dead, after several gun battles. Essential food supplies have been allowed in Gaza, but Israel is not allowing much else. Palestinian terrorists continue to fire rockets into Israel, and planning goes on for getting suicide bombers into Israel, or capturing more Israeli soldiers. For the moment, Israel is content to turn Gaza into a large prison camp.

June 26, 2007: Fatah now controls 60 percent of the Palestinian population and has come down hard on terrorism. Suddenly, no one in the West Bank will admit that they support Hamas. Fatah has warned the 800 clerics in the area, that they will face retribution of they preach violence against Fatah, or Israel. Fatah has forbidden it's terrorist subsidiaries from attacking Israel, and, as a result, some of these groups are apparently defecting to Hamas. Fatah has also prohibited the carrying of weapons by anyone by the security forces. It's doubtful that this one can be enforced, but the Israeli police are increasing their raids into the West Bank, apparently because of more information from Fatah about Islamic militants, and where they are.

Next Article → COLOMBIA: Dangerous When Cornered