Israel: Egypt Eases Up On Islamic Terrorists

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October 7, 2012: In Gaza small Islamic terror groups who refuse Hamas orders to not attack Israel are complaining that Hamas police are arresting their members and torturing them to find out more about unauthorized terrorist operations in Gaza. Hamas denies that it is abusing anyone and most Gazans find that hard to believe. It's not just the Islamic terrorists in Gaza who are mad at Hamas.  Most Palestinians in Gaza are fed up with the incompetent and corrupt rule of Hamas. Most Gazans no longer blame Israel for electricity shortages and economic problems in general but accuse Hamas of mishandling things. Hamas has become corrupt and their refusal to allow any more elections just makes it harder to believe anything Hamas says. The corruption is most obvious in the many taxes and fees that Hamas imposes and the few obvious benefits from all this money. What Hamas does spend a lot of money on is their own security. There are more than enough gunmen on the Hamas payroll to deal with any popular uprising and that's how Hamas plans to stay in power. At the same time, Hamas is stalemated with its rival Fatah, which controls the West Bank and has a growing number of supporters in Gaza. The Arab states that donate money to keep Gaza and the West Bank going are fed up with the inability of Hamas and Fatah to work together for the good of all Palestinians.

In Egypt the newly appointed (by the recently elected reformist president) head of the armed forces (general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi)  told his officers and troops that there would be more money for training, new weapons, pay, and improved living conditions. It's politically correct to call for more money for training and replacing the many ancient Russian weapons still in use. That would improve the combat effectiveness of the Egyptian Army (which is quite low). But as a practical matter the officers and troops are more concerned about their own situation. More pay and better living conditions are much more popular issues and will probably be addressed first. There will be talk about more training and replacing ancient weapons but little action. Sisi is also under political pressure to do something about the corruption in the military, which has made generations of senior commanders rich. The government is handling this issue carefully, lest the senior military commanders feel compelled to attempt a coup.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian president went to Sinai to meet with tribal leaders and Islamic radical clerics. He promised to stop the relentless pursuit of Islamic terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula and would not execute the 14 men arrested and charged with killing several people last year while attacking a police station and bank in Sinai. Apparently it was also implied that those responsible for killing 16 policemen last August and committing other terrorist acts in Sinai since then would not be executed either. Since assuming office the president has been releasing many Islamic terrorists serving long sentences or condemned to death. The president, who was a leader of the Moslem Brotherhood, believes he can make peace with the Islamic radicals. This has not worked in the past because most of the radical groups believe they are on a mission from God to attack enemies of Islam. If the foe is not the local government then it is the West or other Moslem nations. If Egypt becomes a sanctuary for Islamic terrorists the new president will have created a lot of new enemies for Egypt, including the United States and most of the Western nations.  

October 6, 2012:  The air force detected a UAV coming in from the sea and, after tracking it over Israeli territory for twenty minutes, had an F-16 shoot it down. While some Palestinians claimed the UAV came from Gaza, Israeli officials said this was not the case, leaving Lebanon (and Hezbollah) as the likely source. Hezbollah has been using Iranian UAVs for years. This particular flight could have been to test the Israeli ability to detect a UAV. Troops were sent out to collect pieces of the downed UAV and examination of this wreckage will make it clear where the UAV came from.

October 4, 2012: In the West Bank police arrested three Israeli settlers and charged them with violence against Palestinians and Israeli police. The arrests were part of a larger investigation of Israeli settler violence in the West Bank. Israeli nationalists (who believe that the West Bank should be part of Israel and the Arabs should be expelled) are becoming more numerous and violent. Not as much as the Palestinians but the Israeli extremists are slowly closing the gap. The police investigation is meant to shut down the growing Israeli settler violence and take the main perpetrators of these acts out of circulation.

Islamic terrorists in Gaza fired a rocket into southern Israel.

In northern Israel a court charged an Israeli Arab of spying for Hezbollah. The accused man admitted that he had been recruited in 2009.

October 1, 2012: Syrian rebels claim they are encountering more and more Hezbollah and Iranian gunmen. The rebels claim to have killed at least 300 Hezbollah and Iranian military men so far, including some identified as leaders. The rebels have openly threatened Hezbollah leaders with retaliation inside Lebanon (where Syrians are still quite common). Lebanese intelligence officials confirm that several senior Hezbollah leaders have been killed recently in Syria, while leading their men against Syrian rebels. Hezbollah admitted today that one of their senior leaders died in Syria recently and Iranian officials boast of having people operating in Syria (although the Iran government later denied this).

Islamic terrorists in Gaza fired a rocket into southern Israel.

September 29, 2012: In Gaza a Palestinian man was shot by Israeli border guards for refusing to get away from the border fence.

September 27, 2012: The Israeli premier continues to threaten an attack on the Iranian nuclear weapons program and demanded that the UN specify when Iranian progress in developing nuclear weapons had reached a point that justified an attack. The UN does not draw such "red lines" (that must not be crossed). Many Israelis believe all this talk of attacking Iranian nuclear weapons facilities is just a lot of political theater.

September 25, 2012: Fighting between government forces and rebels in Syria near the Israeli border caused several mortar shells to land in Israel. There was no damage and Israeli troops in the area quickly figured out that the shells were not fired into Israel intentionally.

 

 

 

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