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

September 3 , 2007 Qassams Fall on Sderot/New IDF Five Year Plan

Sderot was hit by a series of Qassam missiles today.  One hit next to a day care center.  The parent’s council of Sderot announced today that it was suspended schools in the city until further notice.  There are, of course, demands that the IDF enter Gaza.  If a real tragedy takes place, entering Gaza will be forced due to political concerns, but there is no upside to entering Gaza.   Hamas is doing fine undermining itself, without the IDF coming in to unite the organization.
Hamas is being forced to crack down on different types of demonstrations.  Its troops fired on a demonstration of Hamas supporters who were demanding that the Egyptians open the border crossing.  They have also outlawed outdoor prayers.  Today, when Fatah supporters prayed outdoors, they were shot at and over 100 people were arrested.  Meanwhile, Marwan Barghouti has spoken out from his jail cell publically against the Hamas takeover.   He has come out in support of the scheduled fall peace conference. 
The Israel Defense Forces unveiled its new five year plan during which it will spend 250 billion Shekels.  The plan is designed to meet a myriad of threats, and a neighborhood that the IDF fears will be particularly dangerous in the coming years.  The IDF is preparing for potential continued confrontations with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria. It expects Iran to have the atomic bomb by the end of the decade.  It is also planning for the potential of revolutions in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia.  In addition, there is concern as to the potential effect of the American withdrawal from Iraq. 
The IDF is buying a large number of ground attack vehicles, particularly new heavy APCs.  The goal is to be able to move quickly deep into enemy territory.  The IDF did not follow Minister of Defense Barak’s original plan to increase the number of tank divisions, but will reorganize current forces.
The Israeli Air Force will be receiving less than it wanted, only 25 of the F35 in the first purchase, as opposed to as many as 100 that they wanted.  Surprisingly, it was decided to purchase a new generation of naval frigates.  The one place that the IDF will be expending a great deal of money is on anti missile defenses.  The goal over the next few years is a complete defensive system against a full range of missiles.