build a new fence along the 220 kilometer Gaza/Egypt border. The new fence will
contain sensors that can detect digging below, so as to stop the underground
smuggling. The Egyptians are now eager to halt this smuggling, because they
believe Hamas is hosting terrorist groups planning attacks inside Egypt.
Previous plans to build such a fence were stalled because of Egyptian
objections, and the cost (over a million dollars per kilometer.) Israeli ground
forces pulled out of Gaza, after about 24 hours of operations. At least eleven
Palestinians were killed.
July 5, 2007: Israeli
troops entered Gaza, killed the Hamas commander for central Gaza, raided Hamas
offices and took prisoners. These raids also involve searches for a kidnapped
Israeli soldier believed held somewhere in Gaza.
July 4, 2007: A BBC
reporter, held captive since March, has been released in Gaza. The reporter was
held by one of the clan militias. The kidnappers wanted a large ransom, but
also demanded the release of al Qaeda leaders held outside of Israel. Hamas
obtained the reporters release by seizing senior clan members, and offering an
exchange. This is a traditional way of handling this sort of thing in this part
of the world.
July 3, 2007: Russia is
pulling its citizens (120 people, plus 35 from neighboring nations) out of
Gaza, fearing more violence. Although Hamas has brought peace to the streets,
this has been accomplished with violence, and threats of violence. For example,
Hamas traffic cops punish drivers who run red lights, by firing at their cars.
There are dozens of clan militias in Gaza, and Hamas has faced them down, for
now. The clans still have their guns, and greatly outnumber Hamas fighters. If
the some of the major clans join together to oppose Hamas, the streets will
become dangerous again. The gangs
survive by smuggling and various criminal activities (stealing from aid
organizations, selling information to Israel, extortion, and so on). The clans
had more power on the streets than Fatah, and were one of the reasons Fatah
collapsed so quickly in Gaza. Armed clans are much less of a problem in the
West Bank, where Israeli troops and police control movement, and who owns
July 2, 2007: In Lebanon, the six week siege of Islamic
terrorists at a Palestinian refugee camp is expected to go on for another two
weeks. Some 80 percent of the camp, once home to 31,000 Palestinians, has been
destroyed. There are only a few dozen terrorists left, who have said they will
fight to the death.
July 1, 2007: Israel transferred $119 million in withheld
tax revenues to Fatah, which will pay Palestinian Authority employees in full
for the first time in over a year. However, Palestinian civil servants in Gaza
will only be paid if they do not work (since Hamas controls government
facilities in Gaza, and Fatah has banned Hamas.) The Palestinian Authority
payroll amounts to about $120 million a month.
Since March, 2006, when Hamas took over the Palestinian government,
Israel has withheld $600 million in customs duties that it normally passed on to
the Palestinians. In Gaza, terrorists
resumed firing rockets into southern Israel. Officially, Hamas does not approve
June 30, 2007: The
Israeli intelligence network in Gaza has survived the Hamas victory over Fatah.
Over a year of no foreign aid has impoverished most Gazans, making more people
willing to risk their lives to provide Israel with information about terrorist
activities. Several times a week, Israeli aircraft fire missiles at terrorist
targets identified by the informers. That, or ground forces come in to do the
job, and seize prisoners, documents and other terrorist equipment.