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Egyptians discovered a massive weapons cache in Sinai which included 100 anti-aircraft rockets. Local Bedouins usually assist in such discoveries: the more shipments are intercepted, the more shipments Hamas will attempt, thus increasing the profits of Bedouin smugglers. (A part of the tribe which smuggles weapons for Hamas has migrated to the Negev and squats on the state land there.)

The interception of a hundred rockets suggests that Hamas has thousands of them. The rockets are good enough to keep Israeli helicopters  out ofGazan airspace. Without helicopter cover, IDF won’t be able to send tanks into Gaza, and ground incursions will come to an end.

Palestinian presidential hopeful Dahlan and other PLO leaders are predicting a surge of ‘peaceful’ protests in the territories. Since Dahlan is directly responsible for organizing the riots, we can believe his predictions.

Faced with rioting crowds not far from Jewish villages and meters from the Israeli border, IDF will have to react. Israeli leftists have already prepared for the escalation by prohibiting the army from firing at Arabs who throw ‘only’ stones and firebombs.

Israel inaction will provoke the Palestinians to escalate the confrontation even without direct orders from Fatah. Abbas risks nothing: Israel will continue tax transfers anyway, lest the Fatah government fall and Hamas take its place, and there are no peace talks whose failure could be blamed on the intifada.

After a recent spate of terrorist attacks, Russia’s president has outlined political responses.

Medvedev called for abandoning due process for those accused of terrorism, and for undisclosed changes to Russia’s already harsh criminal law. He lashed out against the courts, which allegedly acquit terrorist suspects through bribes—an unthinkable affair for Russian judges, who are subservient to the government. Medvedev thus hinted to the judges that any acquittals would be presumed to have been won by bribery.

The Russian president also called for “still more cruel” measures against “gangsters” (compare that to the nice treatment of Palestinian terrorists Russia urges on Israel). The Russian Ministry of the Internal and FSB troops already employ collective punishment and indiscriminate raids against the alleged supporters of Chechen separatists. Larger raids will come close to a war.

As is common for Russian leaders, Medvedev heavily loaded his speech with threats and obscenities, and twisted statistics. He claimed that there were 104 ‘terrorist explosions” in Chechnya last year, which were actually Chechen guerrilla operations against Russian police troops and their supporters.

April 2010
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