Israel: Lebanese Want Israel To Invade

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May 19,2008: Egyptian sponsored peace talks between Israel and Palestinians are stalled over Israel's counter-terror tactics. Israel constantly raids the West Bank and Gaza to capture or kill key terrorist personnel. In addition, the security wall between the West Bank and Israel is two-thirds complete, and responsible for stopping many Palestinian suicide bombings. The Israeli counter-terror campaign has worked, with successful Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel down from 59 in 2002 (the peak) to one last year. Israel believes that halting the raids, and tearing down the security wall, would cause an increase of the suicide attacks inside Israel. The Palestinians say they can stop the attacks in return for a halt to the Israeli counter-terror efforts. Israel does not believe the Palestinians can stop the terrorism, because there are too many terrorist factions that listen to no one.

May 18, 2008: Hamas has started to censor Internet access within Gaza. Web sites Hamas considered "un-Islamic" will be blocked. Hamas did not say precisely which sites will be blocked, and will probably make it up as they go along.

May 17, 2008: Representatives from Hizbollah, the Lebanese government and various factions met in Qatar to try and resolve the political problem in Lebanon (Iranian backed Hizbollah wants all efforts directed at the destruction of Israel, and no interference with the Hizbollah "state within a state." Most Lebanese want the Hizbollah militia disbanded.) The Arab League arranged these talks, after the fighting in and around Beirut caused about 300 casualties. Arab states were pretty unanimous in condemning Hizbollah, which they see as the puppet of non-Arab Iran (the same Iran that scares the hell out of the Persian Gulf Arabs). Then there is the religious divide, as conservative Sunni Arabs believe Shia Moslems (especially Hizbollah and Iran) are heretics and deserve death if they don't convert to Sunni religious practices. Meanwhile, the recent Beirut fighting shows that Hizbollah isn't afraid of restarting the civil war that tore the country apart in 1975-90. The other factions in Lebanon, who are the majority, do not want another civil war. The country took nearly two decades to rebuild, and they don't want to lose it all again. But Hizbollah seems determined to bring on war with Israel. This would be less destructive than another civil war, and might destroy Hizbollah (or weaken it to the point that the remnants could be taken care of without a destructive civil war). No one wants to come out and say that, but that's the logic of the situation. Everyone says they want a decent deal for the Palestinians, but most Lebanese do not like the Palestinians, and mainly want them out of Lebanon.

May 15, 2008: So far this year, Hamas has fired over 2,000 rockets and mortar shells into Israel, more than were fired in all of 2007.

May 13, 2008: The Palestinian war against Israel, going on since 2000, has caused permanent loss of over 70,000 Palestinian jobs inside Israel, because replacement workers have been imported from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Israelis are happy with these workers, and many don't want to replace them with Palestinians.

May 12, 2008: A Palestinian Kassam rocket from Gaza landed in an Israeli village and killed a woman.

May 11, 2008: Egypt opened its border to Gaza Palestinians for three days so sick and wounded people could seek treatment in Egypt. Hamas shut down the only power plant in Gaza, shutting down many businesses. Hamas said it had to do it because Israel cut fuel supplies. Israel denies this, and accuses Hamas of lying and shutting off the power to generate diplomatic and media pressure against Israel. Some of the fuel shipments are delayed because Hamas fires mortar shells at the gate where the fuel supplies enter Gaza.

May 10, 2008: In Lebanon, Hizbollah gunmen took control of west Beirut, driving away Sunni Arab militiamen who tried to oppose them. Hizbollah was doing this to protest government attempts to shut down a private Hizbollah phone system, and remove the pro-Hizbollah security manager of the Beirut airport. Hizbollah had set up surveillance cameras at the airport to monitor operations. The phone system and airport surveillance have been going on for years, and the government came under pressure from politicians to shut down perceived Hizbollah attempts to maintain a separate government. The subsequent fighting in Beirut proved that Hizbollah fighters were better organized and more effective that anyone else's. The government ordered the army to intervene, but the army refused, mainly because about half the soldiers are Shia and most of those are pro-Hizbollah. There was a downside to all this for Hizbollah, as their Christian and Druze allies were upset with all the violence, and have backed away from their alliance with Hizbollah. These alliances arose in the wake of the 1975-90 civil war, which was mainly Christian (many factions) versus Moslem (Sunnis, Druze and several Shia factions). Shia are about 40 percent of the population, Christians another 40 percent and Sunni and Druze about 20 percent. Hizbollah retains the loyalty of the Shia factions, but is driving all their Sunni, Druze and Christian allies into an anti-Hizbollah movement.

May 9, 2008: A Hamas mortar shell landed inside Israel, killing an Israeli.

 

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