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

June 17, 2007 Katusha Rockets Hit Kiryat Shemona

As a commentator on Israeli television stated today, everything is connected to everything. Today, in a complete surprise, Katusha rockets fell on Kiryat Shemona. Who fired the rockets was not totally clear. However, it seems that the same Palestinian group affiliated with Al Qaeda, who has also been fighting the Lebanese army in the North for the last few weeks. The Lebanese Army reacted quickly to the event, finding the launcher and stopping an additional launch. The attack itself came as a complete surprise to the Israeli army and that does not say good things about improved intelligence in the North.

Most of Israel's, and much of the world's attention, was directed today at trying to understand the implications of the Hamas takeover in Gaza. In the West Bank there seems to be two crosscurrents. On one hand, there appears to be universal disgust at the leaders of Fatah. It was their corruptions and weakness that allowed Hamas to move in. There are calls for the leadership of Fatah to resign. The pictures of the "refugees" from Gaza in five star hotels have disgusted the average Palestinians in the West Bank. On the other hand, the events in Gaza have further turned off many Palestinians to the Hamas. Their acts of cruelty towards their fellow Palestinians have scared many. The pictures of Hamas members stomping on the photos of Yasser Arafat have appalled most. There are fears that the dream of Palestinian nationalism is being subsumed into the greater call of Islamic Nationalism. Today, Mahmud Dawish, a well-known Palestinian writer wrote an opinion piece, which he called ŇThe end of a dreamÓ. In the peace he wrote that 40 years after being defeated by an external enemy, the Palestinians have defeated themselves.

Where does that leave things? With too many balls in the air, and everything seemingly connected to one another. Olmert meets Bush tomorrow. Today President Bush met off the record with the heads of 50 Major Jewish Organizations, there the President reiterated his commitment to a two state solution, and praised Olmert. But he also made it clear that Israel needs to do everything it can to strengthen the new PA government in the West Bank. Everyone favors that policy even opposition leader Netanyahu, not because everyone believes it will work, simply because no one has come up with a better plan. LetŐs hope Barak has some new ideas up his sleeve.