Hamas insists that when it fires on Israelis, it is resistance, and when Israelis fire back, it is a war crime. This is part of a strategy to depict anything Israel does, and the very existence of Israel, as evil. While many Westerners find this hard to accept, it is a very popular attitude in the Arab world. Hamas uses this popularity to help protect it from retribution from Arab states for supporting Iran. Thus Hamas strives to be the aggressor while playing the victim.
In response to Hezbollah efforts to carry out terror attacks against Egyptian targets, there is now a police crackdown on smuggling weapons and cash into Gaza. At least 60 rockets and $2 million in cash have been seized by police in the last few days. Egyptian police patrols are out in force in the northern Sinai, trying to find a group of 13 Hezbollah terrorists.
Palestinian police, controlled by Fatah, are carrying out arrests and seizures during searches for Hamas terrorists in the West Bank. Two bombs were found hidden in a mosque in Qalqiliya. Eight suspected Hamas terrorists have been arrested so far, and not all are apparently Hamas terrorists. Israel wants the Palestinians to crack down on all terrorists, but non-Hamas terrorists tend to be tolerated
The competition for Palestinian popular opinion, between Fatah and Hamas, is revealing some ugly truths. Fatah leaders are reminding people that Fatah never recognized Israel's right to exist. The PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) was used, as a front group, to negotiate with Israel, and it was the PLO that officially recognized Israel's right to exist. But members of the PLO, especially the largest group, Fatah, never went along with this recognition. For a long time, this was kept quiet, at least in pronouncements to the non-Arab media. But the peace negotiations between Fatah and Hamas (which are not making much progress) has made more public Fatah's true feelings towards Israel.
Two days ago, gunmen working for drug gangs, ambushed an army patrol in Lebanon's Bekaa valley, killing for soldiers. In response, the army conducted widespread searches in the Bekaa, searching for the killers. For several decades, Syria and Hezbollah protected the drug gangs of Bekaa until the 1990s, when the United States forced Syria to crack down. Opium production disappeared and marijuana production (which has been going on for thousands of years) was cut back more than 50 percent. The drug gangs are still there, they are armed and some are fighting the police and soldiers.
April 12, 2009: Off the coast of Gaza, an unmanned fishing boat blew up, in an apparently unsuccessful attempt to destroy a nearby Israeli patrol boat.
April 11, 2009: Russia is buying $50 million worth of Israeli UAVs, mainly to get some experience with UAVs that work well. Russia has encountered many problems in developing its own UAVs, and they know Israel is a leader in this area. Meanwhile, the U.S. has agreed to sell the Lebanese army Raven micro (5 pound) UAVs to assist in patrolling dangerous area, like the southern border region, where Hezbollah asserts control.
April 10, 2009: Hezbollah admitted that one of its officials had been arrested by Egyptian police, but denied that Hezbollah was planning any attacks against Egypt. In the northern Sinai, Egyptian police shot and killed the driver of a truck trying to get past them, and arrested four passengers. The truck turned out to have munitions hidden on it.
April 9, 2009: Just outside Jerusalem, an Israeli Arab tried to run down several policemen, and was shot dead.
April 8, 2009: Egypt accused Lebanese terror group, Hezbollah, of planning attacks against Egyptian targets, in addition to smuggling weapons into Gaza.
April 7, 2009: Israel conducted another successful test of its Arrow II anti-missile missile, shooting down a simulated Iranian ballistic missile over the Mediterranean (using a missile launched from a fighter to simulate the Iranian rocket.)