Israel: Hamas Has a Plan

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July 22, 2007: Hamas has established its own court , but insists it will not impose Sharia (Islamic law) in Gaza. Most Palestinians are too liberal for that. Hamas continues to allow terrorists to fire at southern Israel, including the border crossings where food and medical aid is transferred. The sniping and mortar shelling usually stops as the food and medicine is transferred, but resumes later, especially at night. As far as the Israelis are concerned, Hamas is unreliable, unstable, relentlessly hostile and impossible to negotiate with. Hamas says it simply wants to destroy Israel. All will be well after that.

July 21, 2007:Syria will not even discuss peace with Israel unless Israel first withdraws from the Golan Heights. Syria is receiving generous support from Iran, in its efforts to rebuild its armed forces (which have wasted away after a decade of shrinking budgets). Syria believes that the Christian and Sunni Moslem majority in Lebanon will eventually be forced to give the Shia minority (about 40 percent of the population) veto power in the government. Hizbollah already controls the largely Shia south, and has bullied the UN peacekeepers into submission.

July 20, 2007: Israel believes that Hamas has greatly increased its weapons smuggling efforts from Egypt in the last month. This, despite Egyptian efforts to crack down on this. Apparently, the Egyptians made a deal, to get Hamas to shut down Islamic terrorist operations aimed at Egypt. That would explain the 20 tons of explosives, plus many other weapons, that Hamas has smuggled in during the last month. Normally, it would take over a year to sneak that much explosives in.

July 19, 2007:Israeli troops regularly operate in northern Gaza, trying to interfere with Hamas rocket launching teams. Hamas sends gunmen to try and interfere with the Israeli operations. So now there's a low level war going on in northern Gaza, and fears that Israel will simply invade and take control of Gaza. Hamas now has over 10,000 armed men, and a growing arsenal of rockets that can be fired into southern Israel. Many Hamas supporters see a future joint offensive, with Hizbollah rockets coming from southern Lebanon, and Hamas rockets from Gaza. This would not accomplish anything, except a lot of damage to southern Lebanon and Gaza. But this is the kind of thinking that keeps Palestinians in good spirits. Israel wants to avoid a large scale war in Gaza.

July 18, 2007:Israel has granted amnesty to the entire leadership of the Fatal affiliated Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. This group has taken carried out more terror attacks against Israel since 2005, than any other groups, particularly Hamas. Over 200 members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades did not receive amnesty, and protection from counter-terrorism operations, because they are still believed to be planning attacks on Israel. But this new deal will make it much easier for Israel to deal with the Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank, even those affiliated with Hamas. The freeing of prisoners is also supposed to improve the image of Fatah. Not much luck there. Most Palestinians still consider Fatah a bunch of thieves and incompetents.

July 17, 2007: A Hamas official in the Palestinian government was released from Israeli jail, after the official agreed to quit Hamas and work with Fatah in the West Bank. Israel also agreed to release 256 Palestinian prisoners, in order to give Fatah a PR boost in the West Bank.

July 16, 2007: The government wants to resume distributing gas masks to individual citizens, a program that was halted four years ago because of the expense, and seeming lack of threat. But now, Hamas is believed eventually capable to making a chemical attack inside Israel. Hizbollah is also believed interested in this sort of thing, using chemical weapons obtained from Syria or Iran. The gas masks would not protect against the most common gas (mustard, which burns the skin, or lungs) or the most lethal (nerve gas, which can get in via the skin.)

 

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