Short takes: Hamas has lots of explosives, Palestinian goals, Nuclear rumors, War in Gaza

1. Arming the terrorists

From YNet:

[Israeli] Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter warned Wednesday that over the past three months Hamas has equipped itself with 200 tons of explosives, most of which were obtained from the Palestinian Authority [PA]…

“I am mentioning this issue of the weapon transfers in Gaza, sometimes from one street to another, so that we can understand the risks we are taking in the Judea and Samaria, unless we demand that they enforce the law.”

The close connections between PA ‘security’ forces and Hamas (sometimes they are the same people) means that arms and equipment that the US and Israel supply to the PA to ‘fight terrorists’ often fall directly into the hands of those terrorists. Dichter says that he wants the PA to arrest, try and jail those taking part in terrorist activities:

“The ease in which Hamas took over Gaza worries me. I demand that the Palestinian Authority enforce the law through police and security organizations, prosecution bodies, courts and jails for convicted people.”

I am sure that he does not believe that this is possible. The implication must be that he does not believe in the strategy of building up a countervailing Palestinian force in Fatah.

2. What do Palestinians want?

Many Palestinians who do not align themselves with Hamas nevertheless oppose the idea of a two-state solution, such as the one that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claims to want. I imagine that they are thinking as follows:

Israel has been defeated by Hezbollah, and they are unable to do anything about Hamas’ rockets in the south. There will certainly be more fighting in the North and the South, and the outcome will be the same. Ultimately — possibly with outside help from Syria and Iran — Israel will begin to fall apart, and we will get the whole thing. Abbas is an American puppet and his phony Palestinian state will just slow the process down.

What should Israel do in this situation? I suggest that the most important thing is to restore its power of deterrence against Hezbollah and Syria, as well as find a way to stop the death by a thousand cuts being inflicted by Hamas.

This probably means that there will be more war before there is peace. But one can’t negotiate from weakness.

3. Rumors are swirling…

Stories being passed around in Israel say that what was hit in Syria was much more than a partially-built nuclear reactor, that American forces were involved in the strike, and more. Much of it is not believable, but ask yourself this: why would Israel risk attacking a reactor that was, as the semi-official disinformation suggests, far from becoming active? I suspect that some day we will find out exactly what used to be where that hole in the desert is today.

4. There’s already a war in Gaza

Ben Kubany, zYesterday a Golani brigade soldier, Sgt. Ben Kubany (20) of Hadera, was killed in an encounter between the IDF and Hamas near Khan Younis.

“What we are doing in Gaza is fighting for the security fence,” a military source said Wednesday morning. “Terrorist organizations are trying to harm our control of the fence so that they can use the area to launch attacks within Israel. Our job is to prevent them from reaching this goal, and this is done through daily operations, which are complex, and which also carry an element of risk”…

Recently, the IDF said terrorist organizations, especially Hamas, have gained strength, as seen by pinpoint terrorist activities and confrontations which take place throughout IDF operations. The IDF added that terror cells are visibly more organized, improved, and possess a wider range of weapons. One senior officer described the terrorist cells as an organized army.– YNet

If (when) Israel mounts a large incursion into Gaza in order to stop the war of attrition that is being waged against her, the friends of Hamas will claim that it’s “unprovoked aggression against a civilian population”. Just watch.

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