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Just after Dweik, a Hamas speaker of Palestinian parliament, said that his terrorist group would recognize Israel, Mashaal rejected any agreements and vowed to liberate the entire land, Haifa and Tel Aviv included.

Burdened with civil and political responsibilities, Hamas leaders in Gaza and the West Bank grew relatively moderate while Syrian wing of Hamas takes rejectionist line as Iran commands it.

Hamas’ Gazan leaders have to submit to Iranian whims because Iran largely finances and arms the group.

The former Northern Command chief Yossi Peled has joined the chorus of politicians who proclaim the imminence of war with Hezbollah. Such a war is unlikely because IDF, like any other army, proved incapable of fighting guerrilla forces in 2006 and 2009. Politically hamstrung, armies can win every battle against guerrillas but lose the war.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah keeps installing Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rocket launchers throughout Lebanon. They are more numerous and dispersed than in Gaza, so Israel cannot strike them all down preemptively. Densely settled northern Israel is more vulnerable to attacks with 100-pound-warhead rockets than the south.

If the army expects a war, then it would be logical to destroy rocket launchers periodically, but Israel’s political leadership is too cowardly for that.

January 2010
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