Israel: The War Goes Underground


August 19, 2008:In Lebanon, Hezbollah is stronger, in terms of combat forces (quantity, over 5,000, and quality, often given specialized training in Syria or Iran, of gunmen), and weapons (especially over 30,000 rockets aimed at Israel). In Gaza, Hamas is having a lot of problems with Egypt, which wants Hamas to cut support for Islamic terrorists, and make peace with Israel. To that end, Egypt refuses to allow access to Egypt from Gaza. Worse, Egyptian police have been shutting down one or more smuggling tunnels a day. That's over 40 tunnels in the last few weeks. The gangs that build and use the tunnels are fighting back, but the police, and additional soldiers assigned to the Gaza border, are too strong for that to work. The smugglers are going to greater lengths to conceal the tunnels, but it is believed that Israel has provided sensors that can find the tunnels easily, and that, for a while at least, there will be a lot fewer tunnels.

Hamas and Fatah have speeded up closing down each other's institutions. Social welfare agencies are how both organizations maintain popular support. But Hamas also has religious schools, that are used to indoctrinate and train terrorists. These schools are being shut down in the West Bank, and Israeli police continue to raid that area for terrorist groups sponsored by Fatah and Hamas.

August 18, 2008:Israel agreed to release another 200 Palestinians from prison, in return for continued cooperation from Fatah in counter-terrorism operations.

August 14, 2008:An armed man was shot and captured while trying to cross from Syria into Israel.

August 13, 2008:The U.S. has agreed to set up a ballistic missile early warning radar in the Negev desert. The portable radar will be manned by American soldiers rotated in from bases in Europe. The radars may arrive before the end of the year, but more likely, by early next year. This radar will improve Israeli ability to detect missiles coming from Iran.

August 11, 2008:Another rocket was fired into Israel from Gaza. Israel closed all the crossings in retaliation. That will go on for a few days, to remind Hamas that there are consequences for not being able to control all the Islamic terrorists in Gaza.

August 10, 2008:A recent opinion survey found that, while a quarter of the respondents saw Iran or other Arab states as the biggest threat to Israel, an equal number believed that corruption inside Israel was an equal threat.


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