Israel: Hamas Goes Back to War

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June 12, 2006: Hamas, and other Palestinian groups, have managed to fire several dozen rockets into Israel over the last three days. One Israeli civilian was wounded, but several Hamas members were killed when a helicopter gunship caught them launching rockets, and fired missiles at them.

June 11, 2006: Israel halted artillery fire into northern Gaza, to give Palestinians an opportunity to stop their rocket attacks. It's not expected that the Palestinians will go along with this. With no artillery fire, Palestinian rocket attacks can be made made into Israel with much less risk. The Palestinian rocket launchings in northern Gaza have made most of that area uninhabitable because of Israeli counterattacks. The Palestinians don't much care if civilians get too close to this combat zone, as any dead civilians have enormous propaganda value. The Palestinians need all the propaganda victories they can get at the moment, as they continue to try and entice Western nations to resume aid. Most Palestinian Authority employees have not been paid since Hamas took power in March. About 40 percent of them still show up for work anyway. The Palestinian Authority is barely functioning, and most of the employees are hostile to the Hamas officials who are now in charge of the government.

June 10, 2006: Hamas called off its truce with Israel, in response to the death of seven Palestinians on a beach in northern Gaza. The Palestinians say an Israeli artillery shell fired at suspected Palestinian rocket launching crews, hit a family picnic instead. It is suspected that this is another Palestinian media scam, something they have done many times before. But it provides Hamas with an excuse to go back to war, as the Western donors have so far refused to resume aid payments. Some of this money would have gone to finance terrorist attack, and Hamas was unwilling to change its policy of destroying Israel. Meanwhile, aid donors are working out a plan to pay some government workers, mainly hospital employees, directly, bypassing Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, the Fatah president of the Palestinian Authority set July 26th as the date for a referendum on whether it should be government policy to recognize Israel and negotiate. Hamas will negotiate, but won't recognize Israel's right to exist. This referendum may trigger more fighting between Hamas and Fatah gunmen. Actually, despite the truce, fighting between Hamas and Fatah gunmen has already resumed.

June 9, 2006: In response to the death of a Hamas leader yesterday, Palestinian terrorists fired more rockets into southern Israel. Firing the rockets is getting more dangerous, as the Israelis fire artillery at the known routes to firing positions in northern Gaza. The optimal time to fire the artillery can be calculated based on data for past rocket attacks. This makes it riskier to move the rockets up and launch them.

June 8, 2006: Israeli aircraft found and killed the chief Hamas enforcer in Gaza. The missile attack on a terrorist training camp killed two other people and wounded seven.

June 7, 2006: Hamas and Fatah militias have agreed to a truce. Hamas has been trying to assert control of the streets with their own police force. But the old security forces (70,000 armed men) are still largely loyal to Fatah, unpaid and angry.

 

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