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

May 21, 2007

Qassams Claim First Victim, Fighting in Lebanon Worsens

The Qassams claimed their first victim today as a rocket scored a direct hit on a car this evening.  The attack came after a quiet day in the southern town of Sderot.  Israel’s continued air attacks may have forced the Hamas to launch rockets only in the evening. 
The attack tonight has increased the pressure on the government to respond more aggressively, but almost all analysts agree that any ground attack at the moment would be a mistake. Interestingly, all of the actions that have been taking place in Gaza do not seem to affect activities in the West Bank.  There, the relations between Hamas and Fatah are much better, and more people seem to be supporting Fatah.  Israeli televisions showed a scene of a car race that took place today in Bethlehem.
Fighting continued today in Lebanon between the Lebanese Army and Palestinian supporters of Al Qaeda.  It is not clear why this has developed at the moment, but it clearly endangers whatever stability Lebanon currently has.  Interestingly, on the Chris Mathews show on Sunday, in the segment called "tell me what I we don’t know", David Brooks talked about how Al Qaeda is now operating in the Palestinian territories. 
With the Labor elections only a week away most observers credit Ehud Barak with running a very successful campaign.  He has concentrated his efforts within the Labor party, while at the same time having lengthy one on one meetings with leading journalists.  Meanwhile Israeli Channel 10 reported tonight that Prime Minister Olmert has offered MK Ami Ayalon the Ministry of Defense and MK Avishai Braverman could be Minister of Finance.  Olmert hopes that if he offers Labor these two key ministries they will remain in the government.