July 30, 2007: Egypt has
quietly made a deal with Hamas. In return for looking the other way as Hamas
smuggles cash and weapons into Gaza, Hamas will not allow Islamic terrorists to
operate, from Gaza, against Egypt. Fatah
had not been able to prevent this over the past few years. Israel is after
Egypt to help stop the smuggling, because Hamas is trying to bring in larger
rockets for a major attack on Israel. This would bring Israeli troops back into
Gaza, and ultimately destroy Hamas. The anti-Egyptian Islamic terrorists would
again be free to operate from Gaza. But Egypt wants some relief now, and is
less concerned what happens in the long term. Like most Arabs, Egyptians
believe that, in the long run, the Israelis will be driven from the region. In
the meantime, the Egyptians try to remain on good terms with everyone,
including Israel and the United States.
July 29, 2007:
Palestinian terrorists in Gaza continue to launch a few Kassam rockets a week
into southern Israel. Hamas is believed to be building up a larger supply of
rockets, for a much larger attack some time in the future.
July 28, 2007: Hamas has
smuggled enough cash into Gaza to resume salary payments to 10,000 civil
servants in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority had some 165,000 people on the
payroll, about a third of them in Gaza. When Hamas got elected to power over a
year ago, the foreign charity that paid for most of those salaries,
disappeared. Cash from Islamic nations
has not made up the loss. The civil service was the core of the Palestinian
economy, especially in Gaza, where the unemployment rate is currently about 40
percent. Food aid from foreign charities is a major factor in keeping many
July 27, 2007: Israeli
forces killed five Islamic terrorists in Gaza, including a terrorist leader,
and two men trying to attack Israeli forces with an anti-tank missile.
Palestinians are constantly testing the Gaza security fence.
July 25, 2007: Fatah is
trying to repair its image, and revive itself.
So far, 40 officials believed responsible for the loss of Gaza, have
lost their jobs, and the leadership is pushing for a broader investigation over
what went wrong and who was responsible. Everyone knows what went wrong. Fatah
is a corrupt, inefficient organization, and that will be difficult to change.
Hamas is better, but is already beginning to suffer from creeping corruption
and inefficiency. You can't keep the revolutionary zeal going for long.