Israel: Cease Fire Over Again


October 31, 2011: In northern Gaza, Israeli aircraft killed two uniformed men believed to be part of a rocket launching team. In the last few days, about 40 rockets and mortar shells have been fired into Israel from Gaza. As a result, one Israeli and ten Palestinians were killed. After the first rocket was fired last week, Israel deployed its three Iron Dome anti-rocket systems near the two cities that attract most of the long range rocket fire. Iron Dome has been able to intercept about 90 percent of the missiles the system believes are headed for populated areas. A third Iron Dome battery was sent to the Lebanese border.

In Gaza, Hamas is pressuring the UN and other aid agencies to give Islamic radicals more direct control over aid money and projects. The aid groups resist, because they know that if the radicals gain control, much of the money will be diverted to terrorism efforts, or the bank accounts of terrorist leaders. This has always been a problem, but now it is getting worse.

Fatah, the corrupt, old line Palestinian party that controls the West Bank is upset at the growing revenge attacks by Israeli settlers. This is something new. For decades, the settlers could be depended on to be passive after a Palestinian attack, letting the Israeli police and military look for the culprit. But now the settlers are increasingly launching "price tag" counterattacks. The price tag refers to what the Palestinians must suffer for every attack on Israelis. This is vigilante justice, and it does more damage to Palestinians than Israeli police efforts to catch and prosecute Palestinian attackers. The Palestinians are not accustomed to this kind of swift payback, and they do not like it. Israel is under pressure to crack down more vigorously on the vigilantes.

October 30, 2011: Israeli aircraft killed one man and wounded another, as several men prepared to launch a rocket into Israel. These men were members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, one of many smaller terrorist groups that ignore what Hamas does.

The Israelis declared that the cease fire established in 2009 was over. It had been broken dozens of times in the last two years, always by the Palestinians. Israel will now continuously seek out and attack Gaza based terrorists seeking to fire rockets into Israel.

In Saudi Arabia, a prominent Saudi prince, Khaled bin Talal, added $900,000 to the $100,000 reward offered by a Saudi cleric several days earlier. The million dollars goes to whoever kidnaps an Israeli soldier, who then can be exchanged for hundreds of Arab terrorists held in Israeli jails.

October 29, 2011: Israeli aircraft made several attacks on Islamic Jihad in Gaza, killing at least nine members of the small Islamic terror group. Islamic Jihad, which is backed by Iran, ignores Hamas orders for a cease fire. Hamas does nothing when defied like this, not wanting to trigger a civil war between itself and the smaller terror groups that have sanctuary in Gaza.

Islamic Jihad fired long range rockets at Ashdod, and one of the rockets killed an Israeli civilian. This was cause for celebration in Gaza, because only about one in 300 rockets kills an Israeli. The Palestinians celebrate these killings regularly, especially terror attacks that killed a large number of Israelis. Doesn't matter if the victim were civilians, or even children. Each death is a victory and Israeli counterattacks are war crimes.

Four shorter range homemade rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel, but exploded in the desert.

October 28, 2011: Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah, admitted in a TV interview that the Palestinians made a mistake in not accepting the UN partition plan in 1947. That would have created a Palestinian state next to a smaller (compared to what the Israelis obtained after defeating the Arab attack) Israeli state. In 1947, neighboring Arab countries told the Palestinian Arabs that the combined Arab armies would attack and wipe out the Palestinian Jews, eliminating them forever and leaving Arabs in complete control of the area that is now Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. The greatly outnumbered Jews prevailed and created Israel. A peace deal, close to what was offered in 1947, was negotiated in 2000. But radical groups threatened civil war if Fatah accepted it (which it seemed inclined to do). Instead, Fatah backed a terror campaign against Israel, which is still, technically, going on. But Israel largely defeated the Palestinians over five years ago. Since then, the only thing Palestinians can agree on, judging by what they say in their Arab language media, is the Israel must be destroyed and all Jews killed or driven from the region. This causes a certain amount of friction with Israel, especially the many Israelis who speak Arabic and see these Palestinian broadcasts and publications.

October 27, 2011: Egypt released an American Jew who had been imprisoned since June and accused of spying for Israel. The captive American, Ilan Grapel, also had Israeli citizenship, and had gone to Egypt to work as a volunteer for Egyptian democracy organizations. The army is temporarily running Egypt, until elections could be held, and apparently thought that arresting Grapel would be good for their image. It would also hurt the pro-democracy Egyptian groups, who threaten to bring the army to justice for decades of corrupt behavior. The espionage charges were bogus, and the United States leaned on the Egyptian military (a major recipient of U.S. aid) to fix this. Grapel was released in exchange for 25 Arabs held in Israeli jails, mostly for smuggling.

October 26, 2011: Islamic terrorists in Gaza fired a rocket into southern Israel.

In the West Bank, a roadside bomb went off near an Israeli patrol. There were no injuries.

October 22, 2011: In Jerusalem, an Arab stabbed an Israeli.

Egypt sealed three more smuggling tunnels on the Gaza border.

October 21, 2011:  A Lebanese court convicted ten Lebanese, in absentia, of spying for Israel. The ten had escaped to Israel before they could be arrested.



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