Some EU (European Union) bureaucrats are calling for economic sanctions against Israel. This is seen as the only way Israel can be forced to make peace with the Palestinians. This annoys the Israelis a lot because they have Palestinian media making daily calls for the destruction of Israel and openly discussing (in Arabic) how any talk of peace with Israel is merely a another weapon used towards the ultimate goal of destroying Israel. Westerners have a hard time appreciating how self-destructive and delusional the Palestinians are. Most Arab countries are fed up with the Palestinians, but the entire Arab world is responsible for this mess because the Arab states agreed, back in 1947, that the Palestinians should flee the area and that Arab armies would crush the Jews in a “sea of fire.” That didn’t work, despite several tries, and now the Arabs are still arguing among themselves over how to clean up the mess. Meanwhile many in the West, especially leftists who no longer have the Soviet Union to look up to, have bought into the “Palestinians as victims” myth and call for Western efforts to punish Israel for oppressing the Palestinians.
The latest Palestinian effort in self-destruction is a call for a “third intifada (uprising)” against Israel. The first two were failures and very costly to the Palestinians. The first intifada (1987-93) killed over 2,300 (93 percent of them Palestinians) but did lead to peace talks with Israel and an agreement to allow self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza and eventual independence. A final peace deal was worked out by 2000, but at the last minute the Palestinian leadership realized that Palestinian radicals did not want peace with Israel but rather the destruction of Israel. So the peace deal was refused by the Palestinians and a second intifada declared. This intifada was defeated by 2005, but the Palestinians refuse to admit defeat. The second intifada was, from the start, a massive terror campaign against Israelis, especially Israeli civilians inside Israel. About a thousand Israelis were killed, along with 3,400 Palestinians and foreigners. This time only 77 percent of the dead were Palestinians and the Palestinian government still heaps honors and praise on those who killed Israelis in these attacks. But the cost to Palestinians was high. To stop the attacks, Israel cut off the Palestinian territories from Israel. That was a major blow to the Palestinian economy because so many had jobs in Israel.
The second intifada is, technically, still on, but it’s nearly impossible to make attacks inside Israel, and most Palestinians understand that any new effort would be a third intifada. The plan for the third intifada is to try and make it impossible for Israel to maintain security in the West Bank. The basic idea is to create situations where Israeli troops would kill Palestinians. That would be publicized as atrocities and calls made to EU allies to finally get economic sanctions imposed on Israel. The Palestinians have adopted the long view, that no matter how long it takes Israel will be destroyed. Taking the intifada threat seriously, Israeli security forces are getting ready and stocking up on non-lethal weapons.
February 27, 2013: Israel is setting up a military field hospital on the Golan Heights to deal with the growing number of wounded Syrians coming up to the border seeking care. Israel has let some of these in and treated them in Israeli hospitals but considers doing this a long-term a security risk. So the field hospital will be able to treat all but the most seriously injured right near the Syrian border.
Egyptians seized two pickup trucks headed for the Sinai Peninsula. The trucks were carrying 60 antitank missiles stolen from Libyan military bases during the recent revolution there. The missiles were apparently going to be smuggled into Gaza, where Hamas pays big money for such weapons.
February 26, 2013: For the first time in more than three months, a rocket fired from Gaza hit Israel. There was some damage but no casualties. An Islamic terrorist group in Gaza took credit for it and said it was in retaliation for Israel mistreating Palestinians. Hamas denied that a rocket had been fired, in an attempt to evade responsibility for maintaining the ceasefire with Israel.
February 24, 2013: A Gaza judge greatly reduced the jail terms given to three Gaza policeman convicted of kidnapping and murdering an Italian aid worker two years ago. Two of the killers had life terms reduced to 15 years and the third man had a ten year term cut to five. The kidnappers sought to trade their hostage for the freedom of several Islamic terrorists jailed by Hamas. This demand was refused and the kidnappers killed their captive in an effort to escape capture. This incident alarmed the many foreign aid workers who work in Gaza (and sustain much of the population and add considerably to the economy) and the reduction in prison sentences reminded everyone that Gaza is a dangerous place for foreigners, even pro-Palestinian ones.
February 19, 2013: Egypt told Hamas that smuggling tunnels would continue to be flooded or otherwise blocked until Hamas stopped bringing in weapons and, more importantly, allowing weapons to be smuggled out to Islamic terrorists who make attacks on Egypt.
February 18, 2013: Israeli police have been ordered to crack down on growing anti-Arab actions by Israelis. This is most visible at sporting events that involve Palestinians, but Israelis in general are growing more hostile to Palestinians.