Israel: The Will of God

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May 21, 2007: In the last week, about a dozen Kassam rockets a day have been fired into southern Israel. These have wounded six Israelis, and caused some property damage. In response, Israeli aircraft have fired missiles at suspected bomb workshops, and the homes of terrorist leaders who ordered the rocket attacks. This has killed over twenty people in the last week and wounded about as many. The fighting between Hamas and Fatah is causing 20-30 casualties a day, at least ten percent of them civilians. The 1.3 million people living in Gaza are being terrorized by the 10-15,000 armed men of Fatah and Hamas who wander the streets, heavily armed and looking for a fight. Most of the confrontations between Fatah and Hamas are staring contests, with one group eventually deciding they are at a disadvantage, and backing off. Many of the security forces who are killed, were first captured or kidnapped, then killed, with a bullet in the back of the head.

The cause of all the violence appears to have been the Fatah decision, last week, to send several thousand police Gaza, in an attempt to halt the low level violence and lawlessness that had become common. The various armed gangs and militias resented this attempt to control them.

May 20, 2007: Yet another ceasefire was negotiated between Fatah and Hamas. As word of this got around in Gaza, the gunfire died down and the groups of roaming gunmen got off the streets.

May 19, 2007: Hamas fired one of their Russian anti-tank missiles (obtained from Iran) at an Israeli armored bulldozer in northern Gaza. Two Israeli soldiers were wounded. Israel has moved four 155mm self-propelled guns back to firing positions just outside of northern Gaza. These fired several shells to check their accuracy, but have not resumed firing shells at suspected Kassam launching sites, to discourage such rocket activity. In the past, some of these 155mm shells hit Palestinian civilians who were in the uninhabited area searching for scrap, or just out for a walk.

May 18, 2007: Pro-Hamas clerics have declared it OK to kill members of Fatah. Islamic conservatives need permission of a cleric to make war on other Moslems, because that sort of thing is technically forbidden by scripture. There is also a branch of conservative Islam that simply declares Moslems, who disagree with you, are not really Moslems, and can be killed straight away. Hamas is also threatening to renew its terror attacks on Israel. Hamas does not want to do this partly because its terror organization has, like all other Palestinian terrorist operations, been crippled by Israeli counter-terror tactics. It's also quite obvious that Israeli intelligence, about what is going on in Gaza, is quite good. Israeli bombers frequently know where key Palestinian terrorist leaders are, and fire missiles at them. Hamas would like to do some damage to the Israeli informer network, before trying to launch more terror attacks on Israel. But there's also that the growing violence, and poverty, in Gaza makes it easier for Israel to recruit informers.

May 16, 2007: In Gaza, Hamas and Fatah agreed to their fourth truce in four days of fighting. The problem is that neither organization has disciplined gunmen. There are numerous factions, and even the factions have guys who cannot be depended on when ordered to stand down. Both sides are making attacks on leaders. This is often men loyal to a leader of one side, attacking the home and family of a leader from the other side. This makes it very personal, and cries out for a revenge attack. Meanwhile, Israel is responding with more attacks in attempts to stop the rocket attacks into southern Israel. These attacks are political dynamite in Israel, generating calls to "do something."

 

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