On the Gaza border, Israeli troops killed one gunman and wounded two others who were approaching the border fence at night, apparently to set up an ambush for Israeli patrols.
August 3, 2010: Lebanese troops opened fire on Israeli soldiers cutting down a tree on the border. The Israelis returned fire, killing three Lebanese soldier and a journalist who was travelling with them. The Israelis had told the UN peacekeepers, several days in advance, that trees and underbrush would be removed, to maintain a clear view of the border (where smugglers and terrorists often try to cross.) The Lebanese army later admitted that they fired first, using snipers, because the Israelis had stepped onto Lebanese territory. The Israelis insisted they were on their side of the border at all times. The Lebanese troops were from a division that was largely Shia, containing many Hezbollah sympathizers. The Lebanese Army has been criticized within Lebanon for not being aggressive enough on the border. Israel and the UN criticize the Lebanese army for not doing anything to halt Hezbollah efforts to build hundreds fortifications (often in homes, schools and hospitals) and emplace thousands rockets along the border.
August 2, 2010: Six factory made (in Iran or North Korea) 122mm rockets were apparently fired from Egypt (Sinai desert) at the Israeli resort town of Eilat. But the unguided rockets missed their target, with three of them landing in the nearby Jordanian town of Aqaba, killing one civilian and wounding three. Egyptian security forces insist that the rockets were not launched from their territory, and most have come from Jordan, with Aqaba the primary target. As investigators examine the rockets and where they landed, this is becoming more likely. Jordan has long been the target of Islamic terrorists. But both Jordan and Egypt have security forces that have been very effective at shutting down Islamic terrorism within their borders.
The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank continues to refuse to negotiate directly with Israel until a list of demands are met. Israel is willing to negotiate without preconditions, the Palestinians are not. The problem is that internal Palestinian propaganda calls for the destruction of Israel, and terrorist attacks against Israel, not negotiations. Anyone who negotiates with Israel is seen as a traitor to the Palestinian cause. While this view is openly discussed in Palestinian media, and on the street, it is generally ignored in the West. The U.S. is pressuring the Palestinians to resume peace talks with Israel. American officials know of the internal Palestinian situation, but would rather not talk about it, because it is so discouraging. Meanwhile, even the Arab League is pressuring the Palestinians to negotiate. The "Israel must be destroyed" propaganda is also popular throughout the Arab world, but most Arab leaders are willing to live with Israel if a deal can be made with the Palestinians. But the Arab League is not leaning hard on the Palestinian Authority, and tolerating the Palestinian demands for preconditions.
July 30, 2010: Palestinian terrorists fired a factory made (apparently in China) 122mm rocket at the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon. Israel responded the next day with air and artillery attacks on terrorist targets (including smuggling tunnels on the Egyptian border). Israeli warplanes, in retaliation for the rocket attack, bombed a weapons workshop in Gaza, killing a Hamas commander.
July 26, 2010: An Israeli CH-53 helicopter, in Romania for training in mountainous terrain, crashed, killing the six Israelis and one Romanian aboard.
July 24, 2010: Four rockets and numerous mortar shells were fired into southern Israel by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. There was some property damage, but no casualties.