Details of the peace deal between Hamas and Fatah have been kept
secret. It appears that several vital issues were not resolved. UN officials
have been unsuccessful in getting the "new" Palestinian government to
say something about recognizing Israel and keeping past peace agreements. In
other words, the negotiations are still under way, and there is no deal. Yet.
Meanwhile, Israeli counter-terror operations continue in the West Bank, where
Palestinian terror groups continue attempting to get suicide bombers into
12, 2007: A radical Fatah faction fired six rockets from Gaza into southern
Israel. They said they did this, in violation of the ceasefire, to protest
Israeli construction work near a major mosque in Jerusalem. There, Moslem
clerics insist the construction work (to repair 2004 earthquake damage) is part
of an Israeli plot to destroy the mosque. This sort of absurdist paranoia is
pretty typical of Palestinian politics, and offers an endless supply of excuses
to violate previous agreements. There have been riots in Jerusalem over the
construction conspiracy, and Arab leaders throughout the region have been
compelled to join in, or risk being called traitors and secret allies of
Israel. Meanwhile, Hamas gunmen in Gaza kidnapped a Fatah official, despite the
new peace deal between Fatah and Hamas.
11, 2007: Israel conducted another successful test of their Arrow anti-missile
system. This was the first night test of the system, which is being tweaked to
deal with missiles fired from Iran.
10, 2007: The price of weapons is soaring in Lebanon, as Christians and Sunnis
seek weapons for what they fear is a coming civil war. In 1990, all the
militias, expect Hizbollah, gave up most of their weapons as part of a peace
deal to end the 15 year civil war. Hizbollah said it needed its guns to
continue fighting Israel. But now Lebanese fear Hizbollah wants to fight
Lebanese as well. Last year, you could buy an AK-47 for about a hundred
dollars, now these weapons go for over $700.
9, 2007: In Lebanon, the army said that it would keep Hizbollah trucks full
of ammunition that it has been seizing. Hizbollah insists that the army
leave the Hizbollah weapons shipments alone, in accordance with a 2005
government agreement to support Hizbollah operations against Israel. But the
current cease fire in the south calls for the army to stop Hizbollah from
bringing weapons in. The army only recently began doing that.
8, 2007: In Saudi Arabia, Hamas and Fatah hammered out a peace deal. The major
issues, who controls what in the Palestinian government, were worked out. What
was not addressed was the Hamas call for the destruction of Israel and what to
do with existing agreements with Israel. Hamas has promised to
"respect" these agreements, but not to obey them. Both Fatah and
Hamas want Western aid (over a billion dollars a year) to resume, because that
would address the growing unrest among the poverty stricken Palestinian people.
Fatah also wants more money to steal, and Hamas wants to build up its stock of
weapons, and attempt a mass rocket attack, similar to the one Hizbollah
launched from Lebanon last Summer. The Western charity will not be restored
until the Palestinians can form a government that recognizes Israel's right to
exist. It's unclear how this Hamas/Fatah peace deal does this.
7, 2007: On the Lebanese border, Lebanese troops opened fire on Israeli troops,
who were searching the border for Hizbollah bombs. Israeli troops fired back,
and there was quite a firefight going on for a while. There were no casualties.
The UN chastised the Lebanese for starting this incident. The Lebanese troops
thought an Israeli bulldozer had crossed into Lebanese territory.