Israel: No One Wants The West Bank

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November 16, 2009: The war continues. Israeli troops and police continue their raids into the West Bank and Gaza. Meanwhile, the Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza remain unable to settle their differences. Although the Hamas government in Gaza is less corrupt, it's efforts to impose Islamic conservative lifestyle rules on Palestinians is not popular at all. Hamas has Iranian advisors instructing them on how to set up a police state apparatus that will keep the population in line. This has worked in Iran, and this is apparently what Hamas wants to do in Gaza. This makes many West Bank Palestinians uneasy. While these Palestinians would prefer a less corrupt, and more efficient (than Fatah) government (like Hamas), they don't want the clerical police state that comes with it. Meanwhile, a majority (about 57 percent) of Israelis are willing to negotiate with Hamas, even though Hamas makes no secret of its ultimate goal (the destruction of Israel). The Palestinians believe that their higher birthrate, and undying hatred of Israel will eventually prevail in the long run. Most Israelis are hoping that the Palestinians will change their minds in the long run. In the short term, most Israelis are willing to pay the Israeli settlers to leave their West Bank settlements (and use force for those who refuse) and give the Palestinians their own state, if that will calm everyone down. The West Bank Palestinians, in the meantime, are trying to get the UN to simply pass a resolution declaring the establishment of a Palestinian state. This could force Israel to take over running the West Bank, which Israel does not want to do. No one wants to be responsible for the West Bank, not even the Palestinians.

Hezbollah is openly boasting of its spy network along the Israeli border. Israel believes that Hezbollah agents are constantly photographing Israeli border guard activity, and sometimes sneaking across the border to do so. It is believed that some Israeli Arabs are also spying for Hezbollah.

November 13, 2009: Another Kassam rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel. Israeli troops also killed a Palestinian who was attempting to plant a bomb near the Gaza security fence.

November 10, 2009: In Egypt, a police raid on a Bedouin smuggler hideout, and seizure of 200 tons of cement headed for the Gaza smuggling tunnels, turned ugly. The angry smugglers later ambushed the police and blocked them from leaving the area. While no one was shot, the Bedouins were armed and it took negotiations with some tribal chiefs to get the armed Bedouins to stand down. The smugglers apparently believed that as long as they didn't help smuggle weapons into Gaza, the police would leave them alone. But the Egyptian police have been told to crack down on all smuggling, since the weapons are now sometimes sent through the tunnels disguised as something else.

November 8, 2009: Another Kassam rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel.

November 7, 2009: A Palestinian group in Gaza said that 117 Palestinians have died working in the smuggling tunnels, over the past three years. Some 27 percent of the dead were teenagers, who tend to be smaller and work cheaper, and are thus favored for tunnel construction and for moving the goods through.

November 6, 2009: The search of the German container ship, seized off the coast of Cyprus two days ago, has been completed. Some 320 tons of Iranian weapons were found, hidden in containers marked as holding non-military cargo. This included 9,000 mortar shells, 3,000 107mm and 122mm rockets, 3,000 RPG rockets, 20,000 grenades and over 500,000 rounds of rifle and machine-gun ammunition. The crew were apparently unaware of what they were really carrying to Syria. Iran has denied any involvement in the matter, even though the weapons containers were loaded at an Iranian port. Iran likes to boast of its "support" for Hezbollah, Hamas and other Islamic terror groups, but denies supplying weapons and terrorist training. Syria accuses Israel of piracy and of staging the entire affair.

 

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