Persian Gulf states are sharply reducing their cash contributions to Hamas.
This is a reaction to the inability of Hamas to control all the radical groups
in Gaza, as well as the failure of peace talks with Israel. In addition, Israel
has sorted out how Hamas was getting cash to its followers in the West Bank,
and has disrupted that as well. The reduction, by as much as half, in cash from
the Persian Gulf Arabs, has meant less money for Hamas followers in Gaza, and
more displeasure with the radical organization. Once more, many Palestinians
are questioning the wisdom of being at war with Israel all the time. The
Israelis always seem to win, even if the Palestinians get in some hits from time
In the last
two weeks, Gaza based terrorists have fired nearly 180 mortar shells and
rockets into Israel, putting the five month ceasefire in danger. No Israelis
have been killed, but 17 Palestinian terrorists have died. Egypt, which
brokered the six month ceasefire, has told Israel that Hamas is still committed to the ceasefire, but
cannot control all the terrorists in Gaza. Israel does not believe that, and
now threatens to go after Hamas leaders if the attacks continue. The supply
blockade continues as well, with Israel telling the UN and Europeans to turn
their efforts to the Palestinians, in order to halt the terrorist violence
against Israel. If the Gaza Palestinians get hungry, they can take out their
anger at the local terrorists.
operations continue in the West Bank, where pro-Fatah Palestinians have helpful
in tracking down pro-Hamas terrorists. Dozens of arrests a week are being made.
2008: Three Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza. Israeli ground forces entered
Gaza, along the coast in the north, in a search for terrorist bombs.
2008: Two Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza.
2008: Israeli aircraft spotted and fired
on a Hamas mortar crew in Gaza, as the Palestinians were firing into Israel.
The four man mortar crew was killed. Two Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza,
and six Israeli civilians were wounded.
2008: UN and European diplomats are
furious at Israel for cutting off the movement of goods into Gaza. While the UN
and Europeans demand that the Palestinians stop firing rockets and mortar
shells out of Gaza, they consider Israel the bigger villain for trying to
protect themselves by using economic pressure on the Palestinians.
2008: Israeli Cyber War troops again hacked into the cell phone networks in
Gaza, and sent a message offering a
$10,000 reward for anyone who could provide information that led to the rescue of
kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Hamas is demanding that 1,500
imprisoned Palestinian terrorists be released in exchange for Shalit. The
Israelis believe that letting that many known terrorists loose will result in
dozens of dead Israelis, and are trying to convince Hamas to accept a few
hundred, less lethal, terrorists in exchange for Shalit (who has been held for
two years now)
five 122mm factory made rockets at the Israeli town of Ashkelon. These 122mm
BM-21 rockets weigh 150 pounds and are nine feet long. These have 45 pound
warheads, and have a maximum range of 20 kilometers. Because they are unguided,
they are only reliably effective if fired in salvos, or at large targets (like
cities, or large military bases or industrial complexes.) Hamas has been
getting these rockets from Iran, and they are smuggled in via the dozens of
tunnels under the Gaza-Egyptian border. At the same time, about eight Kassam
rockets were fired, and these injured several Israeli civilians.
2008: In response to the Palestinian
ceasefire violations, Israel closed the Gaza crossings again. Most Palestinians
in Gaza depend on charity (food and medical aid, mostly from Western countries)
and cash (contributed largely by Gulf Arab nations, to pay the Fatah and Hamas
employees, including the terrorists) to get by. Palestinians in Gaza fired more rockets into
2008: A Kassam rocket was fired from Gaza, but it caused no damage or injuries.
Israeli troops caught four Palestinians trying to plant a bomb along the Gaza
border fence (as part of an ambush attempt against Israeli patrols). The four
Palestinians tried to escape, but Israeli troops pursued them into Gaza. In
response, Hamas fired mortars into Israel, and the fire was returned.
2008: All was quiet in Gaza, with no rockets fired at Israel.