Israel has offered to stop air and
ground raids on Hamas leadership in Gaza, if all the rocket and mortar attacks
into Israel stopped. But Hamas wants free access to the outside world as well,
and Israel refuses to allow that. This is because such access would enable
Hamas to more rapidly build up their arsenal of weapons, particularly long
range rockets from Iran.
terrorists continue to fire rockets and mortar shells at the Gaza border
crossings with Israel, and use suicide bombers to try and get to Israeli troops
guarding the security fence. Palestinians also try to get across the barrier,
and plant bombs along roads invading Israeli troops would use. These
Palestinians tend to get spotted and killed, even though they use civilians as
human shields as much as possible.
pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Gaza, to arm and train Hamas, and
provide them with the police and political muscle to maintain control of the
Palestinian population there. Radical factions in the Iranian government are
free to do this, and see the growing strength, and fanaticism, of Hamas and
Hizbollah as weapons to be used for the eventual destruction of Israel.
2008: After six months of stalemate,
Lebanese politicians selected Michel Suleiman, the head of the armed forces, as
president of the country. This was part of a deal with Hizbollah, whereby the
Shia group now has veto power over government decisions. Hizbollah represents a
minority party, but the Iranian-backed group has the most effective military
force in the country. In effect, Hizbollah bullied the majority into handing
over veto power. This has made Hizbollah very unpopular with the non-Shia
majority (Christians, Sunnis and Druze), perhaps to the point where, if there
were another war with Israel, Hizbollah would find themselves getting attacked
from the rear by the Christians, Sunnis and Druze.
2008: Israel and Syria have resumed
peace negotiations. Syria wants to regain the Golan Heights from Israel, and
some economic security (larger bribe payments than Iran currently provides.)
Israel can provide the Golan, but the U.S. or Sunni Arab Gulf states will have
to provide the cash. The Sunni Arabs are eager to entice Syria away from Iran.
Both the Sunni Arabs and Israel want to use Syria to reduce the power of
Hizbollah (another Iranian client) in Lebanon. The Sunni Arab states in the
Persian Gulf are terrified of Iranian power and ambitions, and are spending
hundreds of billions on weapons and buying political influence that will thwart
the Iranians. This has produced a growing amount of cooperation between Arab
states and Israel, against their common enemy; Iran.