Israel: Palestinians Claim Hollow Victories

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March 7, 2007: Israeli troops raided the West Bank town of Ramallah. There they surrounded a Palestinian military intelligence headquarters, and arrested 18 terrorism suspects. The prisoners belonged to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terrorist organization supported by the Palestinian Fatah faction. The prisoners were also members of the Palestinian security services. The prisoners had been organizing and carrying out attacks on Israelis, and planning kidnappings. Another 32 arrests were made in the area, and large quantities of weapons and munitions seized. Israeli counter-terror tactics continue to block Palestinian attempts to carry out attacks inside Israel. March 6, 2007: Israeli officials are arguing over a government report that criticizes efforts to protect civilians during last Summers war with Hizbollah. In that conflict, Hizbollah fired over 4,000 rockets into Israel, and 39 Israeli civilians died (along with 120 soldiers.)

March 5, 2007: Hamas continues to refuse to recognize Israel, even though the new coalition government with Fatah is supposed to include some form of recognition. As a result, Fatah and Hamas continue to have financial difficulties. Meanwhile, foreign aid groups increasingly deliver aid directly to Palestinians. This is dangerous, because without the foreign aid, Hamas and Fatah cannot maintain their large militia forces. Thus freelance and clan based gangs rule the streets, and see the foreign aid organizations as legitimate targets for extortion and theft. Hamas, in the meantime, is taking more money from Iran, and sending its people to Iran for weapons and terrorism training. Hamas has a long range plan that includes a major uprising of well armed Palestinians that will destroy Israel once and for all.

March 4, 2007: Israeli police arrested about a thousand Palestinians for living illegally in Israel. The Palestinians were smuggled in by Israeli gangs, and 20 members of those gangs were arrested as well. Meanwhile, news reports that 54 families are moving out of the southern town of Sderot, is being hailed as a victory by Palestinian terrorists. Over the last few years, about a hundred home made rockets a year were fired at Sderot. The rockets are not accurate, but, on average, for every three dozen fired, one Israeli is killed or wounded. Israel has an early warning system, that gives people time to duck into a safer place. But this has just made many people more anxious. Israel is building an air defense system to shoot down the rockets, but this won't be ready for another year or so.

March 3, 2007: An Israeli government report, not yet released, reveals that the Israeli leaders went to war last Summer, not just to recover two kidnapped soldiers, but in an attempt to destroy, or weaken, growing Hizbollah power on Israels northern border. In that, they succeeded. Hizbollah no longer patrols the Israeli border. Instead, there are 20,000 UN peacekeepers and Lebanese soldiers between Israel and the Hizbollah forces, who are now 40 kilometers to the north. Hizbollah claims a victory in last Summers war, because Mighty Israel did not wipe them out. But Hizbollah did suffer a defeat, and was forced to retreat from an area that was vital to them. Although Hizbollah has rearmed, it must now fire rockets over UN peacekeepers, if they want to attack again, and that could complicate things considerably. In Israel, the war with Hizbollah is considered a flawed operation, that could have gone much better if there had been well thought out preparations.

March 2, 2007: A week long operation in Nablus, in the West Bank, and five battalions of Israeli troops and police withdrew. Nine terrorists were arrested, four bomb factories were destroyed and many weapons and documents seized. One Palestinian was killed, and several were wounded.

 

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