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

May 20, 2007

Israel Responds with Targeting Killings of Members of the Military Wing of Hamas

There is ceasefire between Hamas and Fatah, for the moment.  The two groups exchanged prisoners today. Hamas continues to shell S’derot.  It is now clear that Hamas has split into two: a military arm and a political arm.  The political arm, who ran in the elections, and are now part of the coalition government, have seemingly no ability to control the military arm.  Of course, it could all be an act… the two parts could be coordinating their actions… we simply do not know.  The Israeli army is, for the moment, limiting its actions to the air. The IDF has been given a green light to assassinate all members of the military arm of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.  Israeli analysts believe that Hamas would much prefer to fend off a ground attack, to the targeted assassinations (to which their only recourse is to hide).  The previous rounds of assassinations forced Hamas to enter a Hudna.   

Four months ago, Prime Minister Olmert announced an “immediate” plan to create reinforced rooms in buildings in Sderot and other locations surrounding Gaza.  According to an investigative report aired tonight by Israel’s Channel 10, as of last week, no work at all was done to implement this plan. 

Today’s events in Lebanon are troubling.  The Lebanese Army became involved in direct warfare with a Palestinian splinter group that seems aligned with Al Qaeda.  The Lebanese army is not allowed to enter the Palestinian refugee camps, and as a result many unhealthy things are happening in the camp.  If Al Queda has truly become active in Lebanon, it will make Lebanon ever more untenable.  The Lebanese government blames Syria for the actions of the Palestinian group. 

Dr. Ronen Bergman published a book called, “The Point of No Return”.  The book describes the relationship between Israel and Iran.  The book depicts a few untold stories in the Israel-Iran relationship.  One of the stories tells of how in the sunset period of the Shah’s reign, Israel convinced the Shah to buy Jericho I missiles that could carry nuclear weapons.  Israel and Iran entered into an agreement to create a factory to design and build Jericho II missiles in Isfahan.  If Khomeini had come to power a few years later he would have inherited a nation with ballistic missiles.  Luckily, one of the few successes Israeli intelligence had during this period with Iran, was the Mossad’s realization that the Shah was about to fall.  It warned the CIA, which ignored the Mossad. However, the Mossad quickly began to take apart the various armaments projects that Israel was working on in Iran.