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Said SiamAn IAF strike killed Hamas’ interior minister Said Siam, a liaison between Hamas’ political wing and Izz ad Din Kassam Brigades. The same strike killed Salah Abu Shrakh, chief of Hamas’ general security service. Their relatives also died in the attack.

The IAF strike was reportedly carried out based on the information provided by Siam’s bodyguard. Hamas executed him shortly thereafter.

Said Siam’s death is a boon to Fatah, which has lost a strong and implacable enemy in Gaza.

Large crowds of Hamas loyalists attended Siam’s funeral, but IAF shrunk from the temptation to bomb them.

The UN hasn’t yet responded to Israel’s request that they condemn Hamas’ attacks on Israeli civilians.

Amos GiladDefense Minister Barak’s rep Amos Gilad has agreed in principle to the Egyptian ceasefire plan. Gilad’s comments were made public so as to lock the Israeli government into accepting the ceasefire, which the prime minister vehemently opposes.

The Egyptian plan calls for a mere ten-day ceasefire, ostensibly to negotiate an agreement on border crossings. Israel and Hamas are far apart on the issue of border control: Israel wants to stop weapons smuggling, Hamas wants to continue it. No agreement would be reached, but a ten-day ceasefire would allow Hamas to regroup and prepare resistance.

After defeating Gaza, Israel still negotiates with Hamas to release hundreds of terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

Israel devastated UNRWA headquarters in Gaza after Palestinians fired an anti-tank weapon from there. IDF also assaulted a hospital in Gaza.

A couple of days ago, Israeli intelligence published numerous reports on Palestinian guerrillas using hospitals and UNRWA installations for hiding-places and for meetings.

Gerald Kaufman Britain’s Jewish MP accused Israel of exploiting the Holocaust to murder innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Gerald Kaufman compared IDF to you know who.

The Israeli Supreme Court has its dirty hands in just about everything, from the pettiest house ownership disputes (Beit HaShalom in Hebron) to trivial security issues (separation wall route). Traditionally, even the activist court has refrained from interfering in the matters of war. Not anymore.

The Supreme Court heard a petition by “human rights” (not of Jewish humans) groups seeking charges against IDF for attacks on Palestinian ambulances. Though the court noted correctly that the ambulances in question where either carrying militants or attacked in honest error, the very fact of an Israeli court investigating the army during battle sets a tremendous precedent.

Livni goes to Washington to sign an agreement that would bring the American military to Rafah. The government imagines that Americans will end the weapons smuggling into Gaza. Both the Egyptians and international monitors failed in that mission, and it takes a leap of faith to believe the Obama Administration would fare any better.

Every time Israel has trusted international and American promises of security, it has been a failure. Eisenhower promised us he would keep the Tiran Straits open; that failed in 1967. The UN promised to guard Sinai; failed in 1967. The Americans pushed Israel into ceasefire with Egypt in 1972; together with Russians they promised security. In a year, Egypt attacked. Hezbollah evicted American troops from Lebanon and now flaunts the UNIFIL.

But of course the Israeli government imagines that this time it would be different…

In a fashion familiar from the Second Lebanon war, IAF carried out more than forty attacks against Gaza targets.

Israel and the US cooperate with Fatah thugs in the West Bank in the ongoing crackdown against the democratically elected Hamas.

Fatah burned its bridges by alienating the local population. Fatah police routinely arrest student protesters, disperse Palestinian crowds, and beat journalists. But the scope of violence against Hamas is small; during the Gaza operation, Fatah merely arrested a few dozen Hamas supporters and banned overt sympathy with Hamas such as hoisting its flags. Fatah alienates Palestinians without extirpating Hamas.

Fatah’s leaders threw their lot in with Israel because they expect to lose to Hamas in any transparent elections.

It is highly unlikely that Fatah can prevail against Palestinian popular opinion. Fatah relies on Israel and doesn’t push for Palestinian statehood.

Israeli fruit growers are complaining of the wave of order cancellations from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden after the start of the Gaza operation.

The departing CIA chief issued a final warning to the world: Iran is close to the final steps in building nuclear weapons.

Obama’s choice for CIA chief is Leon Panetta, an ultra-left ecologist. Truly this is the man to tackle Iran’s nuclear problem, the crumbling secular regime in nuclear Pakistan, North Korea’s resumed nuclear program, and other issues less important than some exotic fish which—Panetta’s nightmare—faces extinction.

Ashkenazi, Sephardic tzitzitThe atheists of Israeli Supreme Court have put an end to a thousand years of religious deliberations on Sephardi and Ashkenazi canon. Leftist judges proudly decided a matter upon which the finest rabbinical commentators couldn’t agree. From now on, Israeli religious schools cannot separate Sephardi and Ashkenazi students who follow substantially different traditions; they must mix them, and allow students from five years up a free choice of religious tradition.

Hamas accused Israel of stalling the ceasefire talks and obstructing Hamas’ (!) offer of a ceasefire. What news consumers don’t realize is that Hamas offered absurd terms unacceptable to Israel—and that is the specific ceasefire that Israel doesn’t rush to accept.

Condi Rice, Abu Mazen, and Arafat Hamas rejected Israeli demands for a ceasefire in Gaza. Naturally, Hamas found unacceptable IDF’s continued presence in Gaza, international troops in Rafah, and an end to arms smuggling. Hamas has time on its side: Barack Hussein Obama will reign soon, foreign governments push Israel to end its defense operation, and IDF loses the initiative.

Olmert opted for the next-best approach: to conclude ceasefire negotiations with America and Egypt, surround Gaza with a buffer zone to prevent arms smuggling, and recognize Israel’s right to a relatively free hand in Gaza.

The problem is, Egypt did not stop the arms smuggling for years and won’t stop it now.

Arab summit in Doha The Arab summit in Doha lacked Egyptians and Saudis. The two governments realized that Iran and Syria now run the show, and avoided the bashing for their pro-US stance. Egypt and Iran fight a proxy war in Gaza, the outcome of which willaffect their influence in the Muslim world. Barack Obama’s anti-Israeli attitude will also push Egypt toward the Arab mainstream and against Israel.

Mashaal made a nice slip of the tongue during the conference. “Don’t think that Hamas wants an open war,” he said. Absolutely. They want a terrorist war.

Palestinian riots in IsraelAs usual on Fridays, duly incited in mosques, Palestinians rushed into the streets.

Media reported that IDF killed a twenty-year-old participant in a pro-Gaza demonstration in Hebron. The truth is that the Palestinian mob tried to break into the Jewish quarter of Hebron with obviously murderous intentions; regrettably, IDF killed just a single Arab rioter.

Routine clashes continued at the separation-wall construction site near Niilin, the place where illegal migrant workers are trafficked from the West Bank into Israel.

In Arara town in the Negev, a few thousand loyal Israeli Arabs protested against the evil Jews.

Small groups of Arabs rioted here and there in Jerusalem and other cities.

IDF wounded in GazaIsraeli wounded are 2 percent of Palestinian wounded; lethal cases are 1 percent.
Palestinians quickly improve the ratio in urban fights.

gas field in IsraelPrivate developers found an offshore gas field in excess of 100 bn cub.m. near Haifa. At the current consumption rate, this suffices for a century. The field will remain private.

Israel has a few small gas fields. We also had a large field near Ashkelon until Barak gave it to Arafat to make Gaza economically viable, as if we care. Earlier, Menahem Begin had abandoned the gas field in Sinai to Egypt, and Israel has had to buy gas from Egypt ever since. An Egyptian court recently ordered a halt to gas supplies to Israel.

The “human rights” group ACRI bought a full-page ad in Haaretz newspaper, condemning the Israeli killing of innocent Palestinian children who didn’t get to grow up to become terrorists.

How come the American activists remained unconcerned with the dead children of Nazis six decades ago?