Israel: Palestinians Accuse A Palestinian Of Killing Arafat

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August 13, 2011: Israel is not yet feeling any fallout from the popular unrest in Syria. The Assad dictatorship there is under growing popular pressure, despite increasing violence against the demonstrators. Israel fears that a post-Assad government will try to improve its popular appeal by being aggressive against Israel (the official enemy every Syrian has been taught to hate for over 60 years). On the plus side, the Assad government has been receiving very open support from Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. Long respected in Syria, as an ally and implacable foe of Israel, Hezbollah is now seen as a bunch of hired thugs, more concerned with pleasing their foreign paymaster (Iran) and keeping fellow thugs (the Assad family) in power. Iran and Hezbollah lose a supply line and place to retreat to if the revolution in Syria succeeds.

Reconciliation negotiations between Hamas and Fatah continue. While progress is always being reported, the two sides cannot agree on the really important things, like who will have the most important leadership jobs.

The popular uprisings sweeping the Middle East this year have spread to Israel. Several hundred thousand people, mostly middle-class, are demanding that the government do something about the high cost-of-living, especially the cost of housing. The demonstrators are not demanding a change of government, since they can already do that. What is different here is a demand that Israel turns away from the “Arab problem” and placating Jewish religious conservatives, to paying more attention to quality of life.

Iran is accusing Israel of Internet terrorism. Israel will only admit that it is increasing its efforts to defend Israeli Internet users, and does have the capability to use the Internet to attack its enemies. A closer reading of Israeli pronouncements shows that Israel has been building one of the most formidable Internet-based attack capabilities on the planet.

August 12, 2011: Effective today, most U.S. aid operations in Gaza have been halted. This is in response to growing regulations and costs Hamas has placed on foreign aid operations. Hamas has been trying to increase its income by extorting more money from foreign aid groups, but this has backfired. The U.S. is one of the largest contributors of aid to Gaza, and is holding back aid worth over $100 million a year to Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians live.

August 11, 2011: There was a large explosion in Gaza (Rafah), apparently the result of a terrorist making a mistake while building a bomb (for use against the Israeli border fence and Israeli troops that patrol it.)

August 8, 2011: Israel has started flying UAVs over newly discovered natural gas deposits discovered off shore near the Lebanese border. Hezbollah is threatening to attack Israeli gas drilling operations, complaining that the gas actually belongs to Lebanon. Hezbollah has long excused a lot of its bad behavior by backing very nationalistic pro-Lebanon positions. This puts the Lebanese government on the spot, as most Lebanese officials are for settling any maritime border disputes peacefully. Hezbollah, as always, has its own foreign policy. Israeli Navy leaders are particularly concerned that Iran has provided Hezbollah with rockets and missiles that could hit Israeli natural gas rigs offshore.

August 7, 2011: An official Fatah investigation into the death of Fatah leader Yasser Arafat in 2004 has concluded that former Gaza security chief, Mohammad Dahlan, poisoned Arafat. Israel had long been blamed for the death of Arafat. Dahlan was also accused of corruption (stealing millions in foreign aid). Dahlan has long been held responsible for Hamas taking control of Gaza and evicting Fatah in 2007. This led to the Palestinian political split between Hamas and Fatah. Two months ago, Dahlan was finally forced out of Fatah, and arrested. The records captured in his home provide some of the evidence for the current accusations. While Palestinians like to blame all their problems on Israel, it’s become increasingly fashionable to admit that Palestinian officials tend to be corrupt and incompetent.

August 6, 2011: Israel has moved one of its two Iron Dome anti-rocket missile batteries back to Ashkelon. Several months ago, that battery had been moved from Ashkelon to participate in training exercises. That move was made because of over a month with no rockets coming out of Gaza. But lately, there have been several dozen such firings. So far this year, at least 340 rockets and mortar shells have been fired into Israel from Gaza. Hamas agreed to reinstate the ceasefire on April 10th, but that did not apply to the many smaller terror groups that have found sanctuary in Gaza.

August 4, 2011:  Another rocket was fired into Israel from Gaza. What was different about this one was that, a few days later, it was reported that the two men responsible for launching that rocket were arrested in Gaza. Later still, Hamas denied that it had arrested anyone. Hamas has a ceasefire with Israel, and blames the continued rocket attacks on smaller Islamic terror groups. Some of these are sponsored by Iran, which is believed to have ordered these terror groups to continue firing rockets at Israel. The idea is to start another war with Israel, to help take pressure off Syria. That’s a long-shot, but apparently Iran believes that it is about to lose Syria.  

August 1, 2011: On the Lebanese border, Israeli and Lebanese troops exchanged fire, because of a dispute over who was where (on which side of the border).

July 30, 2011: For the fifth time this year, armed men attacked the Egyptian natural gas pipeline in Sinai (which carries gas to Israel and Jordan). This time there was no interruption in service, and the attackers were driven off by soldiers.

 

 

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