June 15, 2012: Hamas has been running Gaza for five years now and the Palestinians who voted for Hamas would not do it again. That's no problem for Hamas, which has no intention of allowing any more elections. Hamas is still determined to destroy Israel and is currently building up its rocket arsenal and avoiding a fight with Israel. Hamas has, for once, really cracked down on unauthorized launches of rockets against southern Israel. For years Hamas pushed these attacks, or tolerated unauthorized ones when there was a ceasefire with Israel. But now, with the disruptions of the Arab Spring,
Hamas really does need some temporary peace with Israel. The uprisings in Syria and Egypt have disrupted two sanctuaries for key Hamas personnel. Many senior Hamas officials were forced to move, some to Gaza, and this made them more vulnerable to Israeli attack. So Hamas buckled down and cut the anti-Israeli violence down to almost nothing. In response, Israel is expected to refrain from killing Hamas leaders.
Because of all this Arab Spring unrest, Hamas has more to worry about than vengeful Israelis. Many Palestinians would like to see Hamas reformed, and this is not what the Hamas leadership wants to pay any attention to. Hamas has always had enemies within the Palestinian community. This is largely because Hamas is an Islamic radical group and most Palestinians are decidedly more secular. Early on, Hamas attracted a lot of Fatah supporters with promises to deal with the endemic corruption within the Palestinian community. This did not work out either, as more and more Hamas officials became corrupt themselves. Now Hamas has to worry about small "more radical than thou" groups in Gaza trying to take over. Hamas is determined not to let that happen.
For the moment Hamas is waiting for the situation to settle down in Egypt and Syria. It's unclear what kind of new government these two nations will have. Syria is stumbling towards full-blown civil war and the demise of the Assad dictatorship. The corrupt military, bureaucracy, and business community in Egypt is trying to make a comeback against the secular and Islamic rebels who overthrew the Mubarak dictatorship last year. The bad guys have some things going for them. Egypt has no oil, the economy is crippled by unrest and paralysis, and many Egyptians are getting desperate. Perhaps desperate enough to allow the corrupt crew that long backed Mubarak back into power. It may take a year or more for the Egyptian and Syrian situations to clarify. Until all this is resolved, Hamas will behave and prepare for the Armageddon (final battle) with Israel.
A peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians is a dead issue on both sides of the table. Fatah and Hamas continue their decades-old propaganda campaign, calling on Palestinians to destroy Israel and drive all Jews out of the Middle East. This sort of thing is backfiring, as more and more Western media become aware of this hate campaign. This is largely due to the Internet because much of the Palestinian hate campaign shows up on pro-Palestinian web sites, for all the world to see. Even if you don't read Arabic, the visuals are pretty explicit. The Palestinians are also getting into trouble with foreign aid donors when it is pointed out that some of that aid goes to pay for the pervasive hate campaign. Then there are the growing anti-corruption efforts among aid groups, who are demanding that Palestinians cut way back on the stealing or see a lot of aid just stop. These threats are coming from Western and Moslem donors. Everyone is getting tired of Palestinian corruption and incompetence.
Israel is urging NATO, without much success, to intervene in Syria to prevent terrorists from getting possession of some of the Syrian chemical weapons. While most major nations have agreed to get rid of their chemical weapons, Syria has not and is believed to have the largest such stock of weapons in the world. Israel fears that if terrorists get hold of those chemical weapons, Israel will be the prime target.
June 14, 2012: On the Egyptian border an Egyptian policeman was shot and wounded by smugglers, who were trying to get illegal migrants into Israel. The largely African migrants pay Egyptian gangs thousands of dollars, per illegal migrant, to get them into Israel.
June 8, 2012: A Palestinian anti-corruption court convicted a financial advisor to deceased Fatah leader Yasser Arafat, of stealing, with the help of two other Arafat bureaucrats, over $33 million in foreign aid. The three men had fled when Arafat died in 2004, along with the money they are accused of stealing. Their current whereabouts are unknown, so they were tried in absentia. This sort of conviction does not encourage Palestinians that their leaders are serious about dealing with corruption.
June 7, 2012: Egypt's Supreme Court, still run by judges appointed by deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak, ruled that the free elections last year, and the parliament selected, were illegal and nullified. The court also ruled that a former prime minister for Mubarak could run for president. It appears that the military, which took over as a "caretaker government" after Mubarak was tossed out over a year ago, is trying to get Mubarak cronies back into power. The military has long been known as just another part of the corrupt dictatorship, and many generals feared prosecution for that if a true democracy was established. The major rebel and reform groups have not decided what to do about this counter-revolution.
June 6, 2012: Israeli warplanes hit two military targets in Gaza, in response to the killing of an Israeli soldier along the border fence the week before.