July 29, 2011:
Negotiating peace deals with Palestinians continues to be complicated by the continuing Palestinian propaganda campaign that insists Israel should not exist and is not a legitimate government. Recent opinion polls show the majority of Palestinians oppose a peace deal with Israel. Most Palestinians favor continued anti-Israel violence, with the goal of destroying Israel. For decades, the pattern in Palestinian politics was to promote the most radical tactics against Israel. This has led to decades of failure, but this approach is still considered the only acceptable one by most Palestinians (and many Arab nations, although most Arabs prefer a peace deal and an end to the violence.)
The revolution continues in Syria, with nearly 2,000 dead in four months of growing violence. Turkey has provided refuge for those fleeing Syrian government violence, as well as rebels. Syria has protested this, as has Iran, which threatened Turkey. Turks and Iranians have been enemies for over a thousand years, and for most of that time, the Turks had the military edge. But now Iran is warning Turkey to not support anti-Iran rebels in Syria. Iran sees the success of these rebels, who seek to overthrow a pro-Iran dictatorship, as a major defeat. But is unclear how far Iran will go to stop the rebels.
The Arrow 3 anti-missile system recently conducted another successful test, and remains on track to enter service in four years. This version of Arrow can destroy missiles at higher altitudes (over 100 kilometers) and farther away.
So far this month, over 20 rockets and mortar shells have been fired from Gaza into Israel. This a big increase, as such attacks had largely disappeared in May and June. Israel believes that the easing of the Gaza blockade has led to far more rockets being smuggled into Gaza. This includes more large, long-range rockets. Israel believes there are several Iranian Fajr rockets, with a range of 70 kilometers, plus several hundred extended-range (40 kilometers) 122mm rockets, and even more standard range (20 kilometers) 122mm rockets in Gaza. There are believed to be over 10,000 rockets stored in Gaza, for some future major attack on Israel. While Hamas says it might negotiate an extended ceasefire with Israel, it still maintains that the ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel.
July 26, 2011: In southern Lebanon, five UN peacekeepers were wounded by a roadside bomb. This is the second such attack since May. Hezbollah has threatened peacekeepers with violence if Hezbollah violations (bringing in weapons, building fortifications) of the UN ceasefire are interfered with. In general, Hezbollah is left alone by the peacekeepers, but these attacks appear to be reminders to the UN troops.
In Gaza, Hamas executed two locals who were arrested in 2004 and accused of spying for Israel. Another such execution took place two months ago. Israeli intelligence networks in Gaza and the West Bank are under constant attack, but survive, providing targeting information and identification of Palestinian terrorists.
July 21, 2011: In Egypt, nearly 300 demonstrators were injured when a large crowd tried to protest military resistance to political reform. Military intelligence mobilized thugs, from informers and criminals employed by the army, to attack and beat protestors. This was the 15th day of demonstrations in Tahrir Square (where the current Egyptian revolution began earlier this year) and at other locations throughout the country. The military is supposed to be running a transition government, but is increasingly seeking to keep many of the officials from the old dictatorship in power. The Egyptian military was as corrupt and self-serving as the old Mubarak dictatorship, and refused to fire on the anti-Mubarak demonstrators because the generals knew most of the conscript soldiers would probably mutiny and start a civil war.
July 19, 2011: Another rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel, landing in an unoccupied area. No one took credit for this attack, which is becoming standard. Hamas insists it has stopped the rocket attacks, but even the UN recognizes this is not true. As usual, the Israeli Air Force responding by hitting two known terrorist targets. There were no injuries.
July 17, 2011: Germany has agreed to pay for about 20 percent of the cost of a sixth Dolphin class submarine, to be built in Germany. Two other Dolphins are under construction, and three are already in service.
Over the weekend, four rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel.