Hamas is trying to keep its
radicals and moderates from tearing the organization apart. The radicals insist
on making more terror attacks on Israel, and are willing to accept aid from
Syria, Hizbollah (in Lebanon) and Iran to do it. This creates more
counter-terror activity from Israel, including attempts to kill Hamas leaders.
The moderates want to pull back from the terrorism and deal with practical
problems in Gaza, and within the Palestinian community (the struggle with Fatah
over who should run the Palestinian state.) The Hamas solution has been to cut
back on some of the terrorism, and push negotiations with Fatah. If the
Israelis invade Gaza, Hamas will lose.
response to Syrian threats (of revenge, because of the killing of Hizbollah
leader Imad Mughniyeh), it was revealed that, late last month, Israel
threatened Syria with attacks on its capital and other key targets in Syria, if
Hizbollah launched attacks on Israel. This, apparently, did not cover arranging
terrorist attacks in Jerusalem.
Hamas are trying to work over an arrangement whereby new elections, for control
of all Palestinians, would be held. This is a gamble, and the negotiations are
all about how the elections will be run, and who will have the best opportunity
to fix the elections. The Hamas moderates apparently have an edge, partly
because, while most Palestinians still want to destroy Israel, day-to-day life
is terrible, and some kind of ceasefire is preferable to Israel taking over
Gaza again. This is what Israeli generals advise as the only way to stop the
2008: Hamas revealed a new weapon, smuggled in from Egypt, when they used a
14.5mm machine-gun to hit an Israeli helicopter. The damaged chopper went back
to its base. The longer range (up to 5,000 feet) 14.5mm weapon will now force
Israeli helicopters to stay at higher altitudes more often. The Israelis will
now hunt down the 14.5mm machine-guns (apparently about a dozen of the 108
pound, two meter long, weapons were smuggled into Gaza), which will result in
more dead and wounded Palestinians.
2008: Four Kassam rockets were fired
from Gaza into southern Israel. No one was injured.
2008: Israeli police killed four members of West Bank terrorist organization Islamic
Jihad. Israel claimed the terrorists were planning an attack. Islamic Jihad
claimed this violated the ceasefire and that they would attack. And so it goes.
2008: For three days, Israel halted
raids into Gaza, and most rocket and mortar attacks halted (one rocket and one
mortar shell has been fired).
2008: Israel and Hamas agreed to an informal ceasefire. Both sides know that
the there will not be total peace. Some of the more radical Hamas factions,
plus non-Hamas terrorists, will continue to make attacks. The Israeli
counter-terror forces will continue to hunt down known terrorists, and defend
against terror attacks, or attempts to cross the Israeli border.
2008: In Jerusalem, an Arab resident of the city went into a Jewish religious
school and shot to death eight students. Hamas and Hizbollah took credit for
planning the attack (recruiting an Arab resident of Jerusalem and getting him