Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are stalled, as are those between the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas factions. Negotiations over a prisoner swap for an Israeli soldier held by Hamas are also going nowhere. The inability to compromise is largely the result of decades of Arab propaganda that insists Israel does not really exist (in a legal or moral sense), and that is imperative that all Jews be driven out of the Middle East. The West has been shielded from this propaganda for decades because, until recently, it only appeared in Arabic. Thus the tendency of many in the West to blame Israel for failed negotiations. But it's the Palestinians who constantly sabotage negotiations, and believing their own propaganda is the major reason. The Palestinian propaganda has been increasingly available in English, mainly as a service to the children of Palestinians who moved to the West, and did not learn Arabic.
Israel is having a growing problem with Israeli Arabs, who are becoming more radicalized by Arab anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda. Spying, terrorism and recruiting for these activities, are becoming more common among Israeli Arabs. A year ago, Israel banned (for supporting terrorism) two of three Israeli-Arab political parties. Arabs make up twenty percent of the Israeli population, and seven of the 120 members of the parliament are Arab. Some Israeli Arab politicians have been caught working for Hezbollah, and other anti-Israeli organizations, although most are loyal.
The Lebanese parliament, in defiance of UN resolutions, has legalized the Hezbollah arms buildup in the south. The possible threat of Israeli attack was given as the reason. The reality was that Hezbollah demanded this declaration, or that that bombings and assassinations of non-Hezbollah politicians would be the result. Syria chimed in by promising to attack Israel, if Israel attacked Hezbollah. Many Hezbollah leaders want to launch more attacks against Israel, as they feel Hezbollah has been humiliated by its inability to strike back at Israel over the last few years. Meanwhile, Israel assassinates Hezbollah leaders and sabotages Hezbollah plans. In the last year, at least six Hezbollah terror attacks, against Israeli targets in Turkey, were aborted because of Israeli and Turkish intelligence and counter-terror work.
Leftists and anti-Semites, from Europe and Arab nations, have gathered in Egypt and conducted violent demonstrations in favor of free passage of goods to Gaza. Egypt won't allow it because that would make it easier for the Islamic terror groups based in Gaza to move in and out and attack targets in Egypt.
Meanwhile, Palestinian attempts to carry out terror attacks against Israeli civilians persist, and continue to fail. The Israeli tactics, developed over five years ago, have crippled Palestinian terrorism efforts by constantly identifying and arresting, or killing, terrorist leaders and technicians. These terror organizations are allowed to operate openly in Gaza, and discreetly in the West Bank. But the Israeli intelligence system continues to monitor these activities. Hamas had hoped Iranian assistance could help them eliminate the Israeli spies in Gaza, but there are too many anti-Hamas Palestinians there to make that work. The Israeli intelligence network in the West Bank is even better, thus greatly reducing the anti-Israeli violence there, compared to Gaza.
January 3, 2010: Last year, for the first time in ten years, immigration to Israel increased (17 percent) from the previous year.
January 2, 2010: F-16s bombed and destroyed two Hamas tunnels under the Israeli border with Gaza. These tunnels were built for getting terrorists into Israel, or attempting to kidnap Israelis.
January 1, 2010: The year begins with two Palestinian rockets fired into Israel.
December 25, 2009: An Israeli settler was shot to death in the West Bank. The settlers, many of them there illegally, are increasingly at war with their Arab neighbors. The settlers get away with terrorizing the Palestinians, who frequently fail in their efforts to kill settlers or damage their property. The settlers are becoming more radical, and the Israeli government fears that this will develop into another source of anti-Israeli terrorism.
December 23, 2009: Egypt has begun installing deep (20-30 meter) metal barriers into Gaza border areas where most tunnels are built. This will make it more difficult to construct tunnels. Hamas asked Egypt to reconsider this policy, and was rebuffed.