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

May 24, 2007

Israel Pressures Hamas, Iran Ignores UN

The Shavout holiday has come and gone and Sderot continues to suffer from Qassam attacks. The number of attacks has gone down but it is unclear if that is because of the actions of the IDF or because Hamas has achieved its goal. We tend to forget that Hamas started all of this in order to deflect Palestinian anger at its attack last week on a vehicle carrying FatahÕs presidential guard.

The continuous attacks on Sderot and Israel's response has achieved Hamas' goal. Israel responded last night by arresting Hamas political leaders in the West Bank. This was first done after the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It did not result in Shalit's freedom, but the Israeli government is hoping that Hamas is very concerned about maintaining its political power and these arrests will put pressure on Hamas to stop the firing.

Meanwhile, oligarch Archady Gaydamak and the government seem to be in a competition as to who can take better care of the residents of Sderot. Gaydmak opened a tent city in Tel Aviv for the residents of the Sderot, and expected 1,000 people to come. Only about 300 showed up as others seem to prefer the government offer of hotels.

Meanwhile the UNÕs IAEA issued a report stating that Iran is effectively ignoring the UN in its quest to build nuclear weapons. IAEA chief Mohammad El-Baradei warned that his agency's ability to monitor Iran's nuclear advances was "deteriorating" and that if Iran chooses, it could probably build a weapon in three to eight years. El-Baradei has been suggesting it is too late to stop Iran. The United States and the EU object to his position and both are urging a more vigorous sanctions regime. It is not clear if China or Russia will go along. Hopefully the fear that either Israel or the US might take military action if a strong sanction regime is not put in place will get them to go along.