Israel: The Peace Deal Was No Deal At All

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February14, 2007: Details of the peace deal between Hamas and Fatah have been kept secret. It appears that several vital issues were not resolved. UN officials have been unsuccessful in getting the "new" Palestinian government to say something about recognizing Israel and keeping past peace agreements. In other words, the negotiations are still under way, and there is no deal. Yet. Meanwhile, Israeli counter-terror operations continue in the West Bank, where Palestinian terror groups continue attempting to get suicide bombers into Israel.

February 12, 2007: A radical Fatah faction fired six rockets from Gaza into southern Israel. They said they did this, in violation of the ceasefire, to protest Israeli construction work near a major mosque in Jerusalem. There, Moslem clerics insist the construction work (to repair 2004 earthquake damage) is part of an Israeli plot to destroy the mosque. This sort of absurdist paranoia is pretty typical of Palestinian politics, and offers an endless supply of excuses to violate previous agreements. There have been riots in Jerusalem over the construction conspiracy, and Arab leaders throughout the region have been compelled to join in, or risk being called traitors and secret allies of Israel. Meanwhile, Hamas gunmen in Gaza kidnapped a Fatah official, despite the new peace deal between Fatah and Hamas.

February 11, 2007: Israel conducted another successful test of their Arrow anti-missile system. This was the first night test of the system, which is being tweaked to deal with missiles fired from Iran.

February 10, 2007: The price of weapons is soaring in Lebanon, as Christians and Sunnis seek weapons for what they fear is a coming civil war. In 1990, all the militias, expect Hizbollah, gave up most of their weapons as part of a peace deal to end the 15 year civil war. Hizbollah said it needed its guns to continue fighting Israel. But now Lebanese fear Hizbollah wants to fight Lebanese as well. Last year, you could buy an AK-47 for about a hundred dollars, now these weapons go for over $700.

February 9, 2007: In Lebanon, the army said that it would keep Hizbollah trucks full of ammunition that it has been seizing. Hizbollah insists that the army leave the Hizbollah weapons shipments alone, in accordance with a 2005 government agreement to support Hizbollah operations against Israel. But the current cease fire in the south calls for the army to stop Hizbollah from bringing weapons in. The army only recently began doing that.

February 8, 2007: In Saudi Arabia, Hamas and Fatah hammered out a peace deal. The major issues, who controls what in the Palestinian government, were worked out. What was not addressed was the Hamas call for the destruction of Israel and what to do with existing agreements with Israel. Hamas has promised to "respect" these agreements, but not to obey them. Both Fatah and Hamas want Western aid (over a billion dollars a year) to resume, because that would address the growing unrest among the poverty stricken Palestinian people. Fatah also wants more money to steal, and Hamas wants to build up its stock of weapons, and attempt a mass rocket attack, similar to the one Hizbollah launched from Lebanon last Summer. The Western charity will not be restored until the Palestinians can form a government that recognizes Israel's right to exist. It's unclear how this Hamas/Fatah peace deal does this.

February 7, 2007: On the Lebanese border, Lebanese troops opened fire on Israeli troops, who were searching the border for Hizbollah bombs. Israeli troops fired back, and there was quite a firefight going on for a while. There were no casualties. The UN chastised the Lebanese for starting this incident. The Lebanese troops thought an Israeli bulldozer had crossed into Lebanese territory.

 

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