Hamas

Egypt turns a blind eye to arms tunnels

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 22, 2009

The Egyptian regime is still enabling Bedouin smugglers to use the tunnels under their border with the Gaza Strip to transfer arms to Hamas, the JC can reveal.

Despite announcements by senior Egyptian officials that they would clamp down on the smuggling, local Bedouin traders are still offering — even after the Gaza ceasefire — to smuggle goods and people under the border.

These were the tunnels that enabled Hamas and the other Palestinian organisations to bring through materials to manufacture the missiles fired on Israel.

More..

War weakened Abbas, Palestinians warn

By Ben Lynfield, January 22, 2009

President Mahmoud Abbas has been politically wounded by the Gaza war, with Hamas enjoying a surge of popularity in the West Bank, according to Palestinian analysts.

“In political terms, Hamas has become much stronger and its rivals much weaker,” said Ghassan Khatib, a former PA minister.

“The mere fact that Israel is targeting Hamas makes Hamas popular, as does the fact that Hamas fought back and did not surrender, and in Palestinian eyes put on an impressive performance by being disciplined, organised and continuing to fire rockets until the last minute.”

More..

Analysis: After Cast Lead: where do we go from here?

January 22, 2009

Prepare for more civilian casualties

Anshel Pfeffer
Israel correspondent of the JC

It is, notoriously, hard to argue with success. And that seems to be the case with Operation Cast Lead. There were minimal Israeli casualties, and its leaders enjoyed more than 80 per cent public approval ratings, reaching across the political spectrum.

More..

Sailors take the war to Hamas from new front

By Yaakov Katz, January 14, 2009

The Navy ship approaches the Gaza Strip quietly under the cover of darkness.

It is 2am and the ship is patrolling the coast of Gaza in search of Palestinians who use the beaches as launch pads for Kassam rocket attacks into the western Negev.

Using a high-tech thermal camera, the sailors scan the shore to ensure that no Israeli soldiers are in range of the Typhoon artillery cannon.

Suddenly, as the camera focuses on a hotel under construction, one of the soldiers says: “Wait a second, there is something there.” The camera zooms in on what turns out to be a pack of dogs.

More..

Analysis: Plenty of plans but no solution

By Daniella Peled, December 23, 2008

While Israeli officials privately predict an imminent ground operation, there is no pretence that this will solve anything.

Israel has the military capability to re-occupy the Strip, but has no desire to re-assume responsibility for 1.5 million Gazans, quite apart from the vast cost this would entail, both human and financial.

Israel has been limiting itself to striking directly at rocket-launching teams. Now this is likely to be extended to hitting rocket workshops and Hamas leaders — with the inevitable civilian casualties.

More..

Israel prepares troops and PR offensive to counter Hamas

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2008

Israeli representatives around the world are preparing the groundwork for a PR and diplomatic campaign that will accompany an IDF ground operation in the Gaza Strip.

The final decision on whether to launch such an operation has not yet been taken, but the government is preparing itself for all eventualities, including an immediate escalation.

A barrage of Kassam rockets and three IDF retaliatory attacks at the weekend signalled the end of the six-month ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

More..

Fresh Gaza violence likely as truce ends

By Yaakov Katz, December 18, 2008

The Israel Defence Forces went on high alert this week as Hamas threatened not to renew their ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

The six-month truce between Israel and Hamas was due to expire today (Friday). While Israel prefers to extend it, Hamas appears to be split between continuing the pact and ending it. Damascus-based Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal said on Sunday that the ceasefire would not be renewed, while Hamas officials in Gaza said only that the issue was under review.

More..

Fears of fresh Gaza violence as ceasefire nears end

By Yaakov Katz, December 16, 2008

The Israel Defense Forces have gone on high alert as Hamas threatened to not renew their ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

The six-month truce between Israel and Hamas is due to expire on Friday. While Israel prefers to extend it, Hamas appears to be split between continuing the truce and ending it. Damascus-based Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal said on Sunday that the ceasefire would not be renewed, while Hamas officials in Gaza said only that the issue was under review.

More..

Israel plans to extend Gaza Strip ceasefire

By Yaakov Katz, December 4, 2008

Despite a mortar attack that wounded eight Israeli soldiers last week and almost daily Kassam rocket fire from the Gaza Strip since then, Israel is hoping to extend the ceasefire with Hamas that is scheduled to expire later this month.

On December 19, the six-month truce with Hamas will officially expire. Defence officials said this week that the IDF assessment is that Hamas will want to extend the truce under which the crossings — which have been closed for most of the last month due to the rocket attacks — will be opened.

More..

Israel hopes to extend Gaza ceasefire

By Yaakov Katz, December 2, 2008

Despite a mortar attack that wounded eight Israeli soldiers last week and almost daily Kassam rocket fire from the Gaza Strip since, Israel is hoping to extend the ceasefire with Hamas that is scheduled to expire later this month.

More..