Israel: Egyptian Rocket Politics

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October 9, 2007: Hamas has been using 122mm Russian designed rockets again. One fell 11 kilometers inside Israel this week. The max range of this type of rocket is 20 kilometers. Last year, a similar Hamas rocket landed 12 kilometers inside Israel. It is believed that Hamas has several dozen of the 122mm rockets, which are being smuggled in from Egypt via tunnels under the border. Hamas has also been firing about a dozen mortar shells or shorter range home made rockets into Israel each day.

Egypt will not crack down on the tunnels, believing that Hamas will never acquire a large enough quantity of 122mm rockets to do any significant damage. Southern Israel is mostly desert and thinly populated. By tolerating the Hamas smuggling, Egypt has some leverage over Hamas, and, apparently, a deal to not assist Egyptian Islamic terrorists. The last few Islamic terror bombings inside Egypt were dependent on support from Gaza. With that support now withdrawn, there have been no more bombings.

Meanwhile, the battle between Hamas and Fatah continues, in both Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas still has the edge in virtue, but has not been able to do much for living standards. Hamas appears determined to strike a powerful blow against Israel. Fearing such an attempt, Israel continues to warn of a major military sweep in Gaza, to find and destroy many of the rockets and other weapons being smuggled in from Egypt. Fatah is negotiating deals with Israel, that involve shutting down Fatah supported terrorist groups, in return for economic help, and freeing imprisoned Palestinians.

October 7, 2007: In Lebanon, the government has launched a major campaign against al Qaeda, and other Sunni Arab terror groups. There have been hundreds of arrests, and a determination to avoid another multi-month siege, like the one that recently ended outside Tripoli.

October 6, 2007: Hizbollah has accused Israel of being responsible for the murder of anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians. Syria is an ally of Hizbollah, and is accused by UN investigators for several of these murders. Meanwhile, an Israeli patrol found a bomb abandoned near the West Bank security fence. The fence has been very effective in keeping terrorists out of Israel.

October 5, 2007: In Gaza, a roadside bomb hit a Hamas police vehicle, injuring three men. Hamas accused Fatah of using roadside and car bombs against them. Meanwhile, Hamas still has to contend with Israeli missile strikes aimed at Hamas leaders and technical experts.

 

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