Israeli News: A Daily Analysis
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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

March 4, 2008 Gaza/Lebanon- What is Next?

Today was a quieter day on the Gaza border.  Everything is relative as only one home in Sderot received a direct hit from a rocket, while none fell on Ashkelon.  Israel responded with an attack on those who fired the Qassam.  Tonight it began a larger, but still limited, ground attack in the southern part of Gaza.

Last year a total of 1125 missiles landed in southern Israel.  In the first two months of 2008, 671 have landed in southern Israel with 67 landing on Saturday alone.  While all this is going on, Secretary of State Rice has come on an irrelevant visit to Israel.  Rice is claiming that it is possible to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian this year.  I am not sure what she is smoking but we could all use some

Meanwhile, the UN released a report from Israeli intelligence sources that stated that Hezbollah now has 20,000 rockets, of which 10,000 are long range.  There is a feeling of crisis in Lebanon that seems to exceed the normal sectarian levels with the US station the USS Cole best known as the guided missile ship that was attacked an almost sunk by Al Qaeda in Yemen off the coast.  Both the Saudis and the Kuwaitis have advised all of their citizens to leave the country.  Some think that all of this is related to the anticipated response to the killing of Mughniyah last month.  The fear is that the Hezbollah will take actions that will result in another war. 

It seems that in order to save money the Ministry of Education in Israel eliminated the position of school nurse.  The plan was to train teachers to be emergency responders.  The only problem is that the teachers unions refused to allow its members to be so trained.  The result: there are no nurses nor is there anyone else to help a child who gets hurt and therefore they must wait for an ambulance to arrive.

On a brighter note, there was nice segment on the news about a new program that the IDF has instituted to allow young adults who suffer from Downs Syndrome to serve in the army in appropriate positions.  It is a unique program that the IDF is running with Yakim, an organization that works with individuals with Down Syndrome, to give them as much independence as possible.