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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

October 7 , 2007 Katusha Nears Sederot, More Investigations?

A Katusha rocket was fired today from the Gaza Strip towards the city of Netivot. The missile fell just short of its target. This was not the first time that a Katusha was fired from the Gaza Strip, but it was the first time that Netivot has come under fire. While this firing alone will not provoke the long delayed Israeli attack on Gaza, it does make that action ever more likely. Israeli observers expect the army to reoccupy the Philadelphia corridor and possibly the city of Rafiach as well, with the goal to cut off the flow of arms into the strip.

It was reported today that 3 additional inquiries into the affairs of Prime Minister Olmert are being initiated. These inquiries cover the time Olmert was the Minister of Trade and Industry. The investigations all focus around the Investment Center that gave grants to companies that opened new factories.

The question of what Olmert is going to do visa vis the negotiations became clear just before the Chag. It was announced that any final status talks are going to be put off until after the upcoming summit. Ultimately, it was the only decision that could be made. Olmert was not willing to risk his coalition on putting forth a deal that was probably unattainable. Neither Olmert nor Abbas are in a position to make the final compromises that would bring about a possible final settlement. Therefore, lowering the expectations of the summit was the only responsible step that either side could achieve. Where do we go from here? If it is not possible to negotiate, if we cannot agree to an agreement on what is called in Hebrew "divrei d’Liba" (issues at the heart of the disagreement) what can be accomplished?

There is only one major thing that can be tried to stop a further Hamasization of the West Bank. Taking measures, both small and large, to radically improve daily life. This needs to be a series of economic and security measures. It will require some imagination, but it can be done. Will the Palestinians accept this, in lieu of a permanent status agreement? They will not be happy, but the reality is, they are probably unwilling to make the final concessions that they could not make at Taba now… so they too must realize that such an agreement is not practical now.