Since the November 26 truce, at least 50 rockets have been fired from
Gaza into Israel. Israel has not retaliated, and the Palestinians say
these firings do not violate the truce because there are fewer rockets being
fired than before the truce (which called for a halt to all rocket
Lebanon, four weeks of Hizbollah sponsored demonstrations in the capital has
not forced the government to grant Hizbollah veto power over government
decisions. Hizbollah factions are debating whether they should increase the
pressure by shutting down roads and economic activity throughout the country.
This could trigger civil war.
26, 2006: For the last two nights, there has been mortar fire, from Gaza, aimed
at Israeli troops guarding the border fence.
25, 2006: Israel took down 27 checkpoints in the West Bank, making it easier
for Palestinians to move around. There are some 400 checkpoints, manned by
soldiers, in the West Bank. About 60 percent of suicide bombers headed for
Israel, are stopped by one of these check points, and many Israelis see the
removal of checkpoints as increasing the odds that there will be another
suicide attack in Israel. The government believes that counter-terror security
is not being compromised by taking down some of the checkpoints. The government
wants to take down 59 checkpoints, and have shorter, and less thorough,
examinations, at the checkpoints.
23, 2006: The Israeli prime minister, and the Palestinian president (and head
of the Fatah party) met in Jerusalem. Israel said it would release $100 million
in Palestinian taxes it had been holding, and take down some checkpoints in the
West Bank. All this is supposed to increase the Palestinian support for Fatah,
against Hamas. Fatah is trying to schedule new elections, but Hamas is refusing
to go along with it.
22, 2006: The truce in Gaza sort of held, with there being a reduction in
violence. By Palestinian standards, this is progress.
21, 2006: The U.S. enacted a law forbidding any American aid for Hamas, but
allowing support of Fatah.
20, 2006: After several days of violence in Gaza, and at least ten dead, Fatah
and Hamas worked out a ceasefire, and got their gunmen off the street. However,
there was still some shooting, and Fatah and Hamas gunmen continued to clash in
the West Bank.