Israel: The War Goes On Despite Ceasefire

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December8, 2006: The U.S. Congress passed a law that bans aid to Palestinians unless Hamas drops its calls for the destruction of Israel. That law may be replaced by more pro-Hamas legislation, as representatives of the new Democratic Party majority in Congress have been secretly meeting with Palestinian officials. Hamas also has convinced many European nations that a ceasefire with Israel should be sufficient, to get aid restored. The Europeans are willing to live with the Hamas policy of ultimately destroying Israel. Europeans have always been more tolerant of this sort of thing. During the eleven day ceasefire, 17 Palestinian rockets have been fired into southern Israel. The Palestinians consider this compliance. Hamas is stockpiling weapons for some major attacks on Israel.

In Lebanon, Hizbollah supporters are trying to topple the current anti-Syrian/Iran government with massive demonstrations in the capital. The government blames the United States for all this, because the U.S. did not stop Israel from defending itself last Summer, and bombing Lebanon. Because Israel did not re-occupy southern Lebanon, Hizbollah declared a victory and is able to get more Shia Lebanese to join these demonstrations. However, there has been some violence with Sunni and Christian Lebanese on the fringes of the demonstrations, and that violence may grow. The majority of Lebanese do not want a return of a pro-Syrian government.

December 7, 2006: An internal report of Israeli military operations last July accuses Israeli military leaders of being too dependent on air power, delaying the calling up of ground forces reservists, and allowing reservist training and discipline to decline (in response to the frequent reservist call ups to deal with the six years of Palestinian terrorist attacks.) There was a political component to all three of these decisions (Israeli soldiers are voters), but that's no excuse for screwing up.

December 6, 2006: The UN is trying to raise $450 million in aid for Palestinians, who have been cut off from some of this aid since Hamas took over the Palestinian government last Spring. The unemployment rate among Palestinians is 29 percent, but opinion surveys indicate the majority of Palestinians back continued war with Israel, and the eventual destruction of Israel. Since last Spring, Hamas has smuggled in at least $66 million in cash from Arab countries, and international (mainly European) aid organizations have delivered over $800 million in aid direct to Palestinians, without going through the Palestinian government. This reduces the amount of aid stolen by the Palestinian government, but Hamas and Fatah continue to take a percentage by levying a "tax" on some Palestinians who receive this aid. Palestinians civil servants have been getting about two-thirds of their pay.

December 5, 2006: Israel released video, and other evidence, showing how Hizbollah used civilians as human shields during last July's rocket attacks on Israel. Hizbollah's attitude is largely one of, "so what?" Meanwhile, Egypt said that, in the last month, it had seized four tons of explosives that were being smuggled into Gaza.

December 4, 2006: Last month, Palestinian terrorists made 287 attacks on Israel, including 157 rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel. The Israeli police operations in the West Bank have largely halted the deadly suicide bomb attacks on Israel. There have been 120 of these since the Palestinians began their current "war" on Israel in 2000. But new Israeli tactics have stopped nearly all the suicide bomber attacks in the last two years. However, these tactics require frequent police operations in the West Bank, to arrest terrorists who are planning suicide bomb attacks. The Palestinians consider these arrests to be aggression, and illegal.

December 3, 2006: In the first week of truce, an average of two rockets a day have been fired into Israel. The Palestinians claim Israel violates the ceasefire when they try to stop ships smuggling weapons into Gaza, or continue police actions on the West Bank, which was not included in the ceasefire. The Palestinians are using the lack of Israeli military operations in Gaza to continue their arms smuggling and preparations for major attacks on Israel.

December 2, 2006: Since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, 10-20 tons of weapons a month have been smuggled into Gaza, across the Egyptian border.

 

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