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Cornet systemAfter Hamas hit a Merkava tank with a Russian-made Cornet anti-tank rocket, IDF brought to Gaza a tank battalion equipped with the Trophy missile protection system.

It is a rare opportunity to see two top-of-the-line systems competing in near-combat situations in peacetime.

The Cornet was deemed too expensive for the Russian army, which relies on less advanced wire-guided missiles. But it is apparently cost-effective for Hamas. In 2006, Hezbollah received Cornets from Syria, which is a likely supplier to Hamas, too.

Why not bomb a country which arms our enemies?

The Egyptian government allowed a Gaza aid flotilla to dock in El Arish and transfer its cargo to Gaza by land. The Egyptians allowed only humanitarian items, and barred even power generators donated by Iran. So far this is good: Egypt is cooperating with Israel in closing up Gaza.

But some of the activists barred from entering Gaza were Jordanian citizens. Normally, Jordan would deal quietly with its Hamas supporters, but not this time.

Ever since Netanyahu’s botched attempt on Mashaal, Jordan has been distancing itself from Israel. That Jordan is allowing its citizens on the Gaza convoy is yet another sign that it has opted to integrate into the Arab world rather than maintain its relatively strong alliance with Israel. Thus ends the aberrant period of decent relations between Israel and the Arab state of Jordan that has existed since 1967.

If Dan Halutz, IDF’s rather inept ex-Chief of Staff, is to be believed, Israel could have ransomed Ron Arad, a navigator whose plane was downed over Lebanon. The ransom was apparently large enough that Israeli leaders refused to pay it. We can guess that the offer came from Arad’s original kidnappers before he was transferred to Hizbullah.

Meanwhile, disproportional exchanges for terrorists proceeded unabated.

Ron Arad

January 2011
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