-- November 25, 2011-Palestinian Unity? Fourth Arab Leader Out, Hezbollah Arms Cache Blows Up

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Israel Update
A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

November 25, 2011-Palestinian Unity? Fourth Arab Leader Out, Hezbollah Arms Cache Blows Up

Today, Palestinian Authority President Abbas met in Cairo with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal. At the end of the meeting Abbas announced that all disagreement between them had been worked out. Accordingly, a joint government will be established and elections will be held in May; for both the Palestinian Parliament, and for the Presidency. According to many Israeli observers, the agreement between the Palestinian factions is the natural result of two damaged leaders, neither of whom feels they have any other choice to move forward. For Abbas, the combination of almost three years of PM Netanyahu's government doing all they can do weaken, as opposed to strengthen his authority; combined with his failure at the UN, have left him a wounded leader. For Meshal, the reality that he is about to lose his comfortable Damascus base of operation, and with it, his support from Syria, has left him with limited options. Thus, despite the enimity between the two Palestinian groups, it looks like this agreement might hold. For all those in Israel who like saying there is no partner for peace this is good news. For those in Israel who have been hoping, despite all that has happened, that there is a road ahead for peace, this is cleary bad news.

The fourth mid-east dictator has fallen. President Ali Abdullah Saleh' of Yemen has stepped down, after a 33 year rule. He is being replaced by his Vice President. Other than Saleh being the 4th dictator to go, here are a few words on Yemen. Yemen is currently a failed state. Uneployment is currently 60%. The central government only controls a small part of the country, with various areas under control by other various parties, including an Al Qaeda mini-state.

Yesterday a Hezbollah arms depot in Southern Lebanan blew up. Of course the depot was in a place were there are not suppose to be any Hezbollah arms. No one took responsibily for the explosion. However, as with all other questions like this, one has to look at who has the most to gain. As to potential gains, the obvious scenarios are an embarrassment to Hezbollah and/or an embarrassment to the UN who are suppose to be monitoring. Furthermore, the biggest intelligence gain is likely to be from watching how Hezbollah reacted to the explosion.

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