Israel: The Liberation of Southern Lebanon

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May 15, 2006: Israeli artillery resumed firing into northern Gaza, trying to hit launchers, or prevent firing of, Kassam rockets into southern Israel.

May 14, 2006: Over the weekend, Israeli forces killed Islamic Jihad terrorist leader Elias Ashkar, and several of his associates. Ashkar has organized about half of the recent terrorist attacks against Israel. Nearly twenty terrorist suspected were also arrested.

The navy caught a Palestinian fishing boat trying to smuggle half a ton of explosives, and land mine components, into Gaza.

Palestinians continued to fire Kassam rockets at southern Israel, but are apparently having quality control problems as the latest rocket, and several recent ones, landed short, in Palestinian territory.

May 12, 2006: Hamas is feeling the heat from an increasingly angry Palestinian population. About a third of the Palestinians depend on someone with a government job, and Hamas has not been able to pay any of these people for the past two months. The Palestinian economy is basically all about getting and spending charitable contributions from Western sources. That money is cut off until Hamas agrees to stop calling for the destruction of Israel. To that end, Hamas is working out an announcement that will say that without saying it. The wording has to be just right. This really isn't a problem, as Fatah has, for years, said in English that it would negotiate with Israel, and in Arabic, that Israel must be destroyed. European donors, who increasingly tolerate calls for Israel's destruction, are willing to accept a Hamas statement with two meanings.

May 11, 2006: In an attempt to prevent a civil war in the Palestinian territories, both Hamas and Fatah are trying to get people to stop carrying guns in public (unless they work for an authorized security force.) This effort has had some success.

May 9, 2006: In Lebanon, the government is planning to disarm the Palestinians over the next few months. There are some 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon, and they have a lot of weapons, so this could get interesting. The Palestinians have been a destabilizing force in Lebanon for most of the half century they have been there. The U.S. and the UN are also pressuring Lebanon to move its army into southern Lebanon. Currently, Iran backed terrorist group Hizbollah controls the Lebanese border with Israel, there being only token Lebanese army forces down there. This move might mean war with Hizbollah. This could trigger another civil war in Lebanon, because Hizbollah are seen as the chief protectors of the Lebanese Shia (about 35 percent of the population.)

 

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