Saturday, July 29

The Dilemmas of War between Israel and Hezbollah

The war has now entered a very crucial phase. Press and horrifying TV reports of injuries, death and indescribable suffering are occurring to innocent Lebanese citizens, who are in the areas where tough battles between Israeli Forces and Hezbollah are raging. It does not matter who one supports, but the heart-rending scenes of suffering that innocent Lebanese people are undergoing cannot fail to leave one unmoved. Israelis are also suffering from the volleys of Katyusha rockets. The destruction and suffering of Israelis is no less!(See below)

At the start of the war, there was support for Israel’s cause in trying to push the murderous Hezbollah from Israel’s northern border after its kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers. Many people say that Israel’s reaction was “disproportionate”. The description “disproportionate” has been bandied about so much that it has lost any relevance. The kidnappings are not the sole reason for Israel’s reaction! The continuous Hezbollah provocations on the northern borders eroded Israel’s patience! Can one say that the constant hostile incidents on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, initiated by Hezbollah since Israel’s unilateral pullout from Lebanon in 2000 is not sufficient reason for Israel to open fire on them? The Hezbollah did not invent kidnappings on 12 July 2006. There had been previous kidnappings over the years and negotiations for release. This latest kidnapping was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

Hezbollah is an evil, terrorist organization. They are well trained and organized. It is possible that Israel’s intelligence underestimated their tenacity, prowess and motivation. Iran and Syria are supporting Hezbollah and are arming this organization to carry on the fight against Israel. Hezbollah hides behind civilians, threatening them at gunpoint to provide them with shelter in the areas where they live. Some Lebanese homes have become armament stores and command headquarters for Hezbollah. It would not be surprising if Hezbollah ordered innocent civilians to remain in their homes and not heed IDF (Israel Defense Force) warnings to vacate in preparation for the battles ahead. Hezbollah did this in order to achieve three basic goals:
  1. Lebanese suffering will receive increased coverage by the media that will work in Hezbollah’s favor.

  2. The Arab states and other powerful terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda, will support Hezbollah in their fight against Israel.

  3. The UN will come under pressure from the ineffectual Lebanese Government and the Arab states to get support for a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah.
Hezbollah and Al Qaeda are not allies but it is a matter of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” in this case. Hezbollah will try to gain support from any quarter for its cause of the destruction of Israel.

The accidental shooting of four UN personnel who were part of UNIFIL was an unfortunate incident. One should view this in the same light as “friendly fire” on Israel soldiers by their own. In wars, unintentional accidents occur due to incorrect judgment. The UN secretary-general, Kofi Anan’s rash statements blaming Israel for this unfortunate incident was not constructive. It somehow casts a deep suspicion as to his fairness of judgment in this situation.

Hezbollah must bear the responsibility for the suffering of the Lebanese People. They have made cynical use of their defenselessness for their own crooked propaganda purposes.

United Nations humanitarian chief, Jan Egeland, accused Israel on Wednesday 26th July of committing "catastrophic mistakes" in its attack on Hezbollah, which have caused civilian casualties and alienated the Lebanese public. Israel has not alienated the Lebanese People! It is Hezbollah! They provoked Israel into defending itself from their terror. They used the Lebanese people cruelly for the aims of personal aggrandizement in their hate for Israel. Israel has often stated that it does not intend to occupy Lebanon. Israel’s aim is clear – to remove the Hezbollah terror threat from its border! If this “alienates” the Lebanese people according to Jan Egeland, then maybe the UN should leave Hezbollah to its own devices undeterred! Israel has no argument with the Lebanese People. They are not part of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

There are calls for a cease-fire. If the warring parties declare a cease-fire prematurely, Hezbollah will view this as a victory – not even a Pyrrhic victory, but a total one. They would adopt a cease-fire for one purpose only – to re-arm and attack Israel at a later opportunity of their choosing. After all, one declares a cease-fire with states and not terrorist organizations. If Lebanon were to declare a cease-fire and one of the conditions would be the reining in of Hezbollah and its demise including its total disarmament in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1559 (2004) then it would be worthy of support. Naturally, the return of the two Israeli soldiers and possible prisoner exchanges could be part of a watertight agreement in cessation of hostilities.

Unfortunately, a weak government runs Lebanon, which has no power to replace Hezbollah with the Lebanese Army on Israel’s border to ensure peace or to negotiate an end to the war. In this respect, it resembles President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. The latter also has no power to negotiate the release of the soldier, Gilad Shalit in Gaza. Terrorist organizations – Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza run both entities.

http://www.zionism-israel.com/maps/beirutbombing.htm

Saturday, July 22

Israel and Apartheid South Africa

Israel is involved in a war against terrorism directed from the south (Hamas in Gaza) and the north (Hezbollah in Lebanon). As the war on both fronts goes on, there are Islamist fundamentalist sympathizers who compare Israel to apartheid South Africa ad nauseam. As I had mentioned, in a previous post that I wrote on my blog site about a year ago, nothing could be further from the truth. Those who wish Israel’s destruction make the comparison.

I had lived in South Africa during the height of the apartheid period. We had experienced a Special Branch search in our home because of purchasing a book on South Africa’s Third Reich written by Brian Bunting. Some friends, living in London during the 1960s, sent the book to us in a plain cover. The book was published in 1964. The South African Police hounded those who opposed the apartheid government without mercy. I remember my late father, Chaim Eli Klein, burning many banned political books because of fears of police raids that could occur at any time.

Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are great people and they both had achieved very much in the liberation of South Africa from fascism and apartheid. Both these leaders made a tremendous contribution to uniting all South Africans irrespective of their skin colour, race or creed. They found a common denominator in all South Africans who share a common homeland and destiny. All South Africans owe a tremendous amount of gratitude towards these incredible leaders.

The frivolous use of the term “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians when referring to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians shows total ignorance of the situation. If anything, there is an attempt by Hezbollah and Hamas (had they been stronger) to ethnically cleanse Israel of the Jews. Sheik Nasrallah has made this more than clear in his rabble-rousing addresses to his supporters and in his terrorist activities against the Jews even beyond the borders of Israel.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to give a chance to those with authority vested in them by the apartheid SA regime, who abused human rights, to obtain forgiveness from those who had suffered under white rule. Many whites who were involved in suppressing blacks came out of the cupboard and confessed the cruelties that they had committed against their black victims. This commission was highly successful and played a part in the healing process to unite South Africans in a common destiny. All races, despite the terrible bloody history of white supremacy, were prepared to forgive and rebuild the new South Africa from scratch.

As great as these two leaders are, they had one failing. Their knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian problem is poor and inadequate. Their intentions are good but they fail to understand the major difference between Israel’s problems with the Palestinians and with the fundamentalist Islamist terrorist groups who are committed to Israel’s total destruction. These Islamist terrorists are highly motivated in wreaking havoc and terror on innocent Israelis irrespective of their creed.

I had witnessed cruelty to blacks who happened to be in “white areas” at the wrong time and who never had their passbooks (reference books or identity document “dompas”) on their person. The police arrested them and their white employers bailed them out the following day when they showed the police the relevant papers proving that they were under their employment.

Under Apartheid South Africa, Blacks, Coloureds (people of mixed race), Moslems and Indians had very few basic human rights. There were so many draconian laws that prevented these people from competing in the employment market. There was the Job Reservation Act that reserved professional jobs for whites. There was the Groups Areas Act, the Mixed Marriages Act that prevented people of different colour from living in select White areas. Whites and blacks were forbidden to marry and if they did, they were sentenced to prison.

There was total separation between whites and blacks. Law enforced this. Despite all these travesties of justice, goodwill between the various races in South Africa remained a uniting factor. The desire to end apartheid by all races won the day. South Africa was fortunate that they had Nelson Mandela as leader. He had served so many years in prison and came out without any malice towards anybody. He even hosted his former adversaries who imprisoned him when he became President of South Africa. This proves his greatness.

South Africa’s new leaders are unable to accept the fact that Israel’s problem with her Palestinian neighbours is existential. There are not even the basic ingredients for some kind of rapprochement with the Palestinians. The ruling ANC (African National Congress) never had a manifesto that promoted destruction of the whites like Hamas and Hezbollah that has destruction of the Jews and Israel as an essential goal (genocide). Their manifesto is filled with hate for Israel and there is nothing even hinting at recognizing Israel’s right to exist let alone making peace with Israel. Where are the parallels between apartheid South Africa and Israel? Only a wild imagination of the likes of Israel-bashers could find a perverse parallel. There is no racism in the ANC manifesto in contrast to the Islamist terrorist groups’ manifestos.

Much has been written about the rights of Arab citizens in Israel in previous posts and I shall not repeat that again. Suffice it to say, Israel’s Arabs have equal rights, have representation in the Knesset and there are no separate facilities such as for “Jews Only” or signs such as “Arabs not allowed”. In apartheid South Africa, signs such us “Europeans or Whites only” on park benches and public facilities was commonplace. Every public place, including public telephone booths, was segregated. The list was endless. Apartheid signs on buses insured very little seating accommodation for blacks.

Much remains to be achieved in Arab human rights in Israel. It is not one hundred per cent perfect. However, there is no discriminatory legislation on the statute books preventing Israeli Arabs from competing in the job market or any professional spheres.

Israel is fighting a war for its survival. This has been the case since Israel’s establishment in 1948. Those who use the apartheid South African parallel are delegitimizing Israel’s right to exist. There is no parallel whatsoever. The South African experience is not applicable to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The basic ingredient – the desire for coexistence and an end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is not there. There is no desire from Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist. The suffering of the Palestinian People is due to the desire of their Hamas leadership to carry on terror against Israel’s citizens. The rain of Qassam rockets in the south and Katyushas in the north is not a fight against “the occupation” but an attempt to bring Israel to her knees.
The ANC never used violence against innocent people to promote their liberation struggle against apartheid. Suicide bombings, kidnappings, murders and blowing up people in their daily business was never part of their manifesto to achieve human rights. The “brutal oppression” of the Palestinian people is a result of the violence that the Palestinians have wrought on Israel. Israel has a right to protect herself from Palestinian violence against her citizens. Hezbollah in the north in Lebanon and Hamas in the south in Gaza are responsible for the retaliations that Israel has wrought on their respective peoples.

Even if Israel carries out further disengagements without any watertight peace treaties with the Palestinians, the vacuum created will result in the rearmament of the Palestinians with Qassams and Hezbollah Katyushas in their quest to destroy Israel. It is not a matter of “liberation from the occupation” anymore. Their purpose is to establish an undemocratic caliphate or fundamentalist Islamic state replacing Israel. How does this compare with apartheid South Africa?

Saturday, July 15

War on Two Fronts

Hezbollah, under the leadership of Sheik Nasralla, the Lebanese Shiite self-styled demagogue, decided to attack an Israeli Army patrol in the north of Israel near the Lebanese border. On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah carried out the most serious terrorist attack against IDF forces and Israeli communities along the Israeli-Lebanese border since the IDF withdrew from Lebanon in May 2000. During the attack two Israeli soldiers were abducted, eight soldiers and one civilian woman were killed and approximately 54 soldiers and civilians were wounded (as of noon on July 13). Hezbollah did this in order to relieve Hamas from Israeli Army pressure in Gaza. There is cooperation between Hezbollah and Hamas. As a result, Israel is now fighting an enemy on two fronts. Both organizations have much in common. Both organizations are terror organizations who wish to destroy Israel.

Examination of Hezbollah’s goals leaves one in no doubt that this terrorist organization is stronger than Hamas and will be a problem to destroy. Their hate for Israel, Jews and the West is irreconcilable.

Renewal of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon with Hezbollah as the main player and the provoker was a matter of time. This evil man, Sheik Nasrallah, is a gifted rabble-rouser who has great charisma. He has formed a terrorist apparatus in Lebanon that the formal Lebanese Government does not dare to hinder. In this respect, Hezbollah is similar to Hamas with one big difference – the Palestinians elected Hamas to rule them. The Lebanese People did not elect Hezbollah.

Hezbollah made an unprovoked attack on Israel’s sovereign territory. There was no reason for them to do this. They behaved in a barbaric fashion by making demands on Israel to release prisoners in exchange for kidnapped soldiers. This is unaccetable! Israel has every right to react. What country would allow itself to be blackmailed by a group of armed terrorists in this manner? The terrorist Hezbollah organization is the responsibility of the Lebanese Government who has turned a blind eye on their terrorist activities against Israel. Israel is correct in holding Lebanon responsible for Hezbollah’s activities.  

UN Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1680, call for disarming and cessation of support for Hezbollah. The Lebanese Government had done nothing to disarm Hezbollah. Today Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese Government, which is further proof that while they are not in the majority they add a measure of responsibility to the Lebanese Government for the act of war against Israel - a neighboring sovereign state. 

Remember what Prime Minister Olmert said in answer to a question: "How do you measure “justified response”, especially when your own civilian infrastructure is under constant threat?” A “justified response” is in the eye of the beholder. This response should be severe enough to prevent terrorist groups from carrying out their bloody acts. If it does not succeed in its goal then the response is a failure. If it succeeds then it is justified.

Syria, Iran and Lebanon (because of the latter’s indifference to Hezbollah which gets its financial support from Iran) can now be viewed as “the axis of evil.”
Israel’s attitude and response to Hezbollah terror can best be summed up by Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Public Affairs Ambassador Gideon Meir's opening statement from his press conference on Thursday 13th July 2006 with Brig,-Gen. Ido Nehushtan:
"Israel has suffered an unprovoked cross-border attack from Lebanese territory. The Hezbollah carried out the attack, which is a party to the Government of Lebanon. They attacked Israelis, soldiers and civilians, while on sovereign Israeli soil. In these circumstances, Israel has no alternative but to defend itself and its citizens.
For this reason, Israel is now reacting to an act of war by a neighboring sovereign state. Israel views Lebanon as responsible for the present situation, and it shall bear the consequences for this act.
However, Lebanon is not the only responsible party. Syria hosts in its capital, Damascus, the headquarters of a number of Palestinian Jihadist terrorist groups, including Hamas. They provide shelter and logistical support for Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who has been living there for a number of years. From Damascus, Mashaal commands terrorists within the Palestinian territories who carry out ongoing attacks against Israel and its citizens, including the bombardment of southern Israel with Kassam missiles and the recent terrorist infiltration and kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Syria also provides support to the Hizbullah, including the transfer of arms, munitions and operatives through the Damascus airport and border crossings into Lebanon. The Hezbollah would not be able to operate in Lebanon without clear Syrian sponsorship.
Iran is the main benefactor of the Hezbollah. It provides funding, weapons and directives for this terrorist organization. For all practical purposes, Hezbollah is merely an arm of the Teheran Jihadist regime. Iran has also made considerable inroads of influence into Palestinian terrorist organization, including Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigade and Hamas’ Iz a-Din al-Kassam group.  It provides their terror cells with funding, technical instruction and operational directives.
Hamas and Hezbollah are driven by an extremist Jihadist ideology that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel – as part of an international effort to wage ‘Holy War’ against the ‘infidel’.        
Syria and Iran support these groups, not only because they support their ideology, but also because they provide Damascus and Teheran with a tool to strengthen the influence of their own regimes and to divert attention from other issues which have exposed them lately to international pressure. We also have specific information that Hezbollah is planning to transfer the kidnapped soldiers to Iran.
Consequently, Israel views Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran as primary elements in the Axis of Terror and Hate threatening not only Israel but also the entire world.
There is a widening consensus in the international arena that Jihadist terror is a global threat that must be confronted with determination and resolve. Israel has been in intensive contact with foreign governments and world organizations, in order to coordinate pressure on these regimes, ensuring they understand that the price that they will pay internationally for their support of terrorism will be unbearably high.
With regard to our expectations from Lebanon, it is the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon to fulfill its obligations as a sovereign state to extend its control over its own territory, as called for by Security Council resolutions 425 and 1559. Through our operations, Israel expects both to pressure the Beirut government to take action, and to facilitate this action by providing the international encouragement and the operational conditions favorable to the disarming of Hezbollah and the effective deployment of the Lebanese army southward to the Israel-Lebanon border. This is not only Israel's interest, but that of the Lebanese people and the region as a whole."
Hezbollah is leading the Lebanese People down the path of destruction. Naturally, the “evil axis” goes screaming to the United Nations to condemn Israel for its “aggression”. The United States who has also bared the brunt of terror in the Trade Centre Tragedy of 11 September 2001 used the veto to prevent the passing of one-sided resolutions against Israel. There are even signs that Arab States such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt are not supporting Hezbollah.
Lebanon, who had experienced a “boom” economically, will now suffer a very severe set back. She will have to do more to disarm the terrorist Hezbollah who will re-arm within a few months once this campaign is completed.  


Sunday, July 9

The War against Hamas


The military situation between Israel and the Palestinians has caused much suffering to the Palestinian population. Many have abandoned their homes and have nowhere to go. The suffering is horrendous as army bulldozers and tractors destroy and level the terrain. A mother and two children were killed in Gaza during this operation. We are all upset when innocent Palestinians lose their lives and their intense suffering because of this operation. It is doubtful if the Palestinian Hamas leadership has pangs of conscience when their terrorist wing deliberately kills innocent Israelis!

Despite the stepping up of Israeli Security Forces operations against the Palestinians, there are still no signs that the Palestinians wish to negotiate an end to the Qassam Rocket fire into Sderot and Ashkelon or release the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
There are reports that Ismail Haniyeh the Hamas prime minister has called for a cease-fire, but Israel has refused to accept the terms of the cease-fire. Therefore, the fighting goes on and it seems as if it will last for quite some time.

The Palestinians have achieved nothing by their attitude. It is doubtful even if Haniyeh has any influence on the Hamas terrorist groups. The Palestinian Authority under PM Haniyeh is losing control over the situation and it seems highly unlikely that the Palestinian terrorists will agree to cease their terror despite the appeals of their so-called political leadership. Hamas is leading the Palestinian People to total disaster and untold suffering. They lost the opportunity after the withdrawal of Israel from Gaza. The choice was in their hands whether to establish responsible government to improve the lot of their people or to continue the bloody path of terrorism against Israel by allowing their Islamist fantasies to dictate their future tactics. They chose the latter and therefore they shall pay a heavy price for their folly.

Many of us who are in the peace camp now believe that the Palestinian leadership has no desire to come to terms with Israel’s existence. The Palestinian violence since October 2000 has brought this message home. Our dreams of a two state solution, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace, security and dignity have been shattered. Continuing Palestinian violence against Israel has divided and destroyed the Israeli peace camp. If there were any doubts as to the ruling Hamas intentions, it would be a good idea to refresh one’s memory by reading the Hamas Charter that leaves one without any doubt as to what the Palestinian leadership wishes to achieve. The Hamas Charter promotes genocide of the Jewish people in Israel! It is difficult to engage in negotiations with a Hamas leadership that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and justifies her destruction.


The basic problem between Israel and the Palestinians is the eternal fight over the same piece of land. Both sides are adamant in their claim for their right to the land that is Israel. Many of us do have certain pangs of conscience over the refugee problem created by Israel’s War of Independence of 1948. Unfortunately, over the years this problem became more complex because of extremist Islamic overtones in the claims for the right of return of the 1948 refugees. Moslem fanatics refuse to allow the establishment of a non-Moslem country on land that they considered Moslem land. While this attitude remains, there will never be peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be a futile exercise if there would be any future unilateral withdrawals. Further withdrawals would result in future terrorist incursions into Israel in the form of further Qassam rocket fire, kidnappings, suicide bombings and who knows what else as is evidenced in Gaza.

The blame for Palestinian suffering is the Hamas leadership who has declared war on Israel. In wars, innocent people suffer casualties and it is no different in this war. The Hamas terrorists have killed innocent Israelis on purpose.

Meanwhile UN agencies blame Israel for the situation in Gaza. The situation in Gaza has reached a new low with tremendous suffering to the Palestinian People. They do not blame Hamas for the crisis of the Palestinians. They accuse Israel of human rights violations against the Palestinians. As usual, the accusations are one-sided against Israel. No condemnation comes from the UN agencies against Hamas for initiating terror against Israel’s citizens and thus triggering Israeli Army action against them. Israel is always under fire from the UN in her attempt to safeguard the security of her citizens that is her basic right as it is the right of all countries in the world to protect their citizens from terror. The US went into Afghanistan to fight terror against US citizens as well as Iraq and to ensure her interests there. Yet the world blames Israel who has been subjected to Palestinian terror of the worst kind over the last six years especially.

There is no doubt that the ball lies in the Palestinian court for the suffering of the Palestinian People! The UN agencies should be laying the blame on Hamas and its allied terror groups who have declared war on Israel by their actions of terror. While the UN remains soft on terror, Islamist terrorists will use this means increasingly in order to achieve their aims of destroying Israel.

Wednesday, July 5

Hamas is declaring War on Israel

The kidnapping of the soldier, Gilad Shalit, and the non-cessation of Qassam rocket fire into Israel despite the “Summer Rain” Israel Army operation into Gaza, proves once again the intransigence of Hamas to come to terms with Israel. Declaration of deadline to free Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit is part of the psychological warfare these thugs wage in order to achieve their objective. The firing of a Qassam rocket into a school in Ashkelon is another example of a signal that the Hamas terrorists are sending that they have the capability of causing havoc to Israeli citizens.

The Hamas military wing of terrorists is operating in cells many of whom are unknown entities even to the Hamas organization that cultivates them. There are the Fatah terrorist wings as well that also operate independently. What are the objectives of Hamas in carrying out these terrorist operations against Israel? It is all part of an ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinians since Israel’s establishment in 1948. There have been attempts over the years to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians but to no avail. The Palestinians have been harping on the occupation after the June War of 1967 as a reason for the violence. They have been declaring the illegality of the occupation and the population of the occupied territories with Israeli settlers. Unfortunately, the problem is more than that. It is existential, as all the wars prior to 1967 have proved that Israel is an unwanted entity in the midst of Arab States. The occupation is a catalyst for the ongoing violence. Apart from that, the situation has become more complex as there are other rogue states involved more than ever before. The major rogue players are Iran and Syria. The former under the Achmadinajad regime has engaged in much anti-Israel rhetoric and is financing terrorist operations against Israelis. The latter is harbouring Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas leader, who has much influence in the direction that Hamas chooses in the war against Israel.

Hamas is behaving in an irresponsible manner towards the electorate that voted them into power. In August 2005 when Israel disengaged from Gaza, Hamas managed to cultivate trust and credibility in Palestinian street to such an extent that an overwhelming majority elected them into power. Perhaps the Palestinians believed that after the corrupt Fatah regime and the so-called clean slate of Hamas rendered them capable of getting the Palestinian house in order. The Palestinians received Gaza unilaterally and there was hope that Hamas would rebuild the infra structure that the Israel Army had destroyed. Time proved that this was far from the reality. Hamas has no intentions of rebuilding Gaza or improving the poor economic situation of the Palestinians. Hamas has joined the increasing ring of fundamental Islamist terrorists whose philosophy is that of plunder and killing the infidels. They will wage their fantasy wars for eventual victory that means the destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state whose laws are based on Sharia. They are using the “occupation” to portray the injustices perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians. Today it is more than that. A non-Moslem entity (Israel) in the midst of Moslem Arab States is unacceptable to Hamas and its terrorist allies irrespective of the “occupation”.

Another step towards the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel has evaporated into the mists of a long list of missed opportunities. Despite all this, PM of Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, appealed to the terrorists holding Gilad Shalit not to harm him in any way. He is realistic enough to realize that Israel will wreak havoc the likes of which are unknown in Gaza if the Hamas terrorists harm Gilad. The Hamas political wing does not control the military wing and it is possible that Haniyeh is not in the picture directly.

Hamas terrorist thugs who are leading the Palestinians on the road to disaster now run the Palestinian Authority. President Mahmoud Abbas even stated that there is nobody to talk to on the release of the kidnapped soldier. This is an incredible admission on his part. He is no player at all in the workings of the Palestinian Authority that is on the verge of total anarchy. The Hamas military wing of terrorists now rules the Palestinians. This wing consists of groups of terrorist militias operating independently of one another. The situation resembles Lebanon of the 1980s even more than before. The Qassam rocket fire into Sderot and Ashkelon will continue for a long time to come. There is no desire on the Hamas camp to try to stop the violence.

The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005 created a vacuum that the various highly motivated terrorist groups filled. Teams of highly motivated terrorist cells probably began building tunnels that the security fence for the purposes of infiltrating Israel. It is very likely there are many tunnels along the Gaza border with Israel that are undiscovered.

The situation is becoming very complex and Israel faces a situation that defies any form of solution. Whatever decision Israel takes will be fraught with dangers of retaliation, which could also harm the kidnapped soldier.