Tag Archives: hamas

Islamist Guerrillas Bedevil Both Israel and Egypt in Sinai

Israeli Casualties On August 18, 2011, squads of heavily-armed Popular Resistance Committee (PRC)  guerrillas from Gaza travelled about 120 miles through Egyptian Sinai to attack Israeli citizens near the southern Israeli city of Eilat, killing eight Israelis. Israel retaliated with airstrikes on targets inside Gaza. The PRC is a relatively small Palestinian resistance group that has at times served as an ally of Hamas.

This attack on Israel took place just as Egyptian forces began targeting Salafist Islamist guerrillas who have been attacking Egyptian  pipelines in the Sinai. These attacks by bySalafist Islamist forces believed tied to al-Qaida, prompted Egypt’s military rulers to seek permission from both Israel (due to troop level restrictions in their mutual peace agreement), and from Hamas, the Palestinian faction that rules over Gaza.  Egypt sent over 1,000 security forces backed by armored personell carriers launched a campaign to defeat the Islamist guerrillas.



See also:

New Gaza War Inevitable?

New Gaza war ‘a question of when, not if’

The UN says at least 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli action in Gaza so far this year

A senior Israeli army officer has told the BBC that as long as Hamas remains in control of the Gaza Strip, another war is “a question of when, not if”.

He said the Palestinian Islamist group had rearmed so much since the Israeli offensive two years ago that it was now in a stronger position militarily.

There has been an increase in rocket fire coming from Gaza in the past week.

Earlier, Israeli defense officials said tanks fitted with a new missile defense system would be deployed near Gaza.

The Israeli-developed active protection system (APS) known as Trophy is designed to destroy missiles like the Russian-made AT-14 Kornet, one of which hit a Merkava Mk3 tank on 6 December.

The laser-guided missile – which carries 10kg (22lb) of high explosive – penetrated the tank’s armour, but did not injure its crew.

“Fortunately, it did not explode within the tank. It is a heavy missile that is among the most dangerous that we have seen on this front and was not used even during the Lebanon war,” Israeli Chief-of-Staff Lt-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi told a closed-door parliamentary session on Tuesday.

According to  Lt-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi Israeli Chief-of-Staff

“The situation in the south is very fragile and explosive.”

The Trophy APS, which has so far been fitted to a battalion of more advanced Merkava Mk4 tanks, uses radars and sensors to identify threats, then releases special explosives to neutralize them.

No Palestinian militant groups have said they were behind the attack.

Hamas is not thought to have been behind the increased rocket fire from Gaza this week, to which Israel retaliated with air strikes.

However, Israel has said it will increase attacks on Hamas facilities even if the movement is not responsible.

The UN has said at least 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli action in Gaza so far this year. Over the same period, one Thai farm worker has been killed by rockets fired from the coastal territory into Israel.

Israel’s 22-day clash with Palestinian militants in Gaza left an estimated 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

Palestinian Hamas Kills Four Israelis

According to the BBC on Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Four Israelis killed in West Bank

Four Israelis have been shot dead in the West Bank, Israeli police say.

Their vehicle came under fire on a road between the settlement of Kiryat Arba and the Palestinian village of Bani Naim, near the city of Hebron.

The military wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, said it had carried out the “heroic operation”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it showed there should be “no compromise” on Israeli security demands at the relaunched direct peace talks.

Hamas supporters in the Gaza Strip celebrated news of the West Bank attack
“The prime minister ordered the security forces to act without diplomatic limitations in order to catch the murderers,” his spokesman, Nir Hefetz, said on arrival in the US ahead of Thursday’s meeting between Mr Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington.

“Terror will not determine Israel’s borders or the future of the settlements,” Mr Hefetz added.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also condemned the attack, saying it went “against Palestinian interests”.

The White House condemned the killings in the “strongest possible terms,” adding that all parties must “continue working to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region”.

US state department spokesman PJ Crowley said: “There may well be actors in the region who are deliberately making these kinds of attacks in order to try to sabotage the process.”

‘Grave incident’

The attack took place near Bani Naim after dark on Highway 60, a busy route used by both Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

The four victims – two men and two women, one of whom was pregnant – were reportedly shot at from a passing vehicle.

Video footage showed a white estate car standing at an angle on the side of the road, its windows shot out and its doors riddled with bullet holes. Officials said all four victims were from the Beit Haggai settlement.

“This was a terrorist attack and the army is treating it as a grave incident,” Israeli army spokeswoman Lt-Col Avital Leibovich told reporters.

It was the first fatal shooting in the West Bank since mid-June, when a police officer was killed, and the most lethal attack in the West Bank in four years, when a suicide bombing killed four people at a settlement.

“Security was stable for the past few years and we hope this will not cause any deterioration,” Col Leibovich said.

On its website, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, declared “its full responsibility for the heroic operation in Hebron”.

Earlier, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said the attack had been “a natural response to the crimes of the occupation”.

He said it was also proof of a “failure of security co-ordination” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from the Fatah-dominated PA in June 2007.

Hebron, in which some 500 Jewish settlers live in fortified enclaves amid about 100,000 Palestinians, has long been a flashpoint for violence.

The BBC’s Wyre Davies in Jerusalem says there was no warning an attack like this would take place, and the incident is likely to strain negotiations this week.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Mr Netanyahu will attend a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Thursday in what will be their first direct talks in nearly two years.

Before leaving the West Bank, Mr Abbas urged “Israel not to miss this historic opportunity for peace,” saying that “if there is only a 1% chance of achieving peace we will strive for it”.

Mr Netanyahu meanwhile said he hoped for “a peace based on recognition, security, stability and economic prosperity between the two peoples that will endure for us and our children”.

Both sides have agreed to place a one-year time limit on the direct negotiations, but correspondents say prospects of a comprehensive deal are slim, as serious disagreements exist on the core issues.

Iran War Creeping Upon Us

The world is slowly creeping toward the long-awaited and long-feared Iran War.  What is this ‘Iran War?”  At some point, Iran will be attacked, most likely by Israel, perhaps less likely by the United States or some coalition of Western powers.  But the ongoing concerns regarding Iran’s continued nuclear weapons development and the collapse of any reasonable diplomatic scenarios will lead Israel’s leadership with the belief that they have no choice but to strike the Islamic Republic of Iran before they can attack Israel with the nuclear weapons Iran is developing.

Two recent developments in particular shows that Israel is growing increasingly concerned.  First, the Israeli cabinet decided to fund a program to provide gas masks to all Israelis.  This is an obvious preparation for the possibility of missile attacks on Israel from Iran and/or Iranian allies Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria.

Second, on January 12, 2010, a leading Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated by a remote-controlled bomb in Tehran.  It is widely assumed that Israel is behind this killing in an apparent attempt to delay the Iranian nuclear program. 

See also: http://www.historyguy.com/iranwar.htm

New Gaza Clashes as Hamas and Israel Fight on Eve of U.S. Election

The Israeli military launched an airstrike on Hamas-ruled Gaza early Wednesday, Nov. 5 after Israeli troops battled Hamas militants after Hamas fired mortars rounds into Israel. Six Palestinians were killed in the renewed fighting. This was the first battle since a June truce between Israel and Hamas brought relative peace to the region.

The Israeli army said the battles broke out late Tuesday, Nov. 4, after Israeli forces found a tunnel in central Gaza built by Hamas in order to abduct Israeli soldiers. A Israeli special army unit destroyed the tunnel. One Palestinian was killed in the gunbattles at the tunnel.

The timing may be coincidental, but it is interesting that this clash took place on the same night that the American Presidential campaign concluded with a victory by Democrat Barack Obama.  Many people worry about a possible Israeli-American strike at the Hamas/Hezbollah/Syria/Iran alliance in the waning days of Republican control of the White House.  Might this small battle lead to more clashes on other borders, with a possible Iranian and/or Syrian response?

This situation bears watching…

Iran War Scenario for April, 2008

Signs point to a possible U.S./NATO/Israeli war against Iran/Syria/Hezbollah in the near future.

Tensions between Israel and Syria escalated in early April as Israel conducts nation-wide civil defense drills simulating a domestic response to a potential Hezbollah/Syrian/Iranian attack with biological and chemical weapons. This drill comes amid continued Hezbollah threats to avenge the recent assassination of one of its leaders. Supposedly in response to Israel’s drill, Syria has put its military on alert.

In addition, Israel recently conducted a joint naval exercise with NATO forces in the Mediterranean Sea. France, Britain, Germany and other NATO nations, including the U.S. have been warning of Iran’s nuclear ambitions this past year.

It is widely assumed in the U.S. and throughout the world, that the Bush/Cheney Administration, unsure of John McCain’s chances of beating the Democrats for the White House, and unwilling to leave a potentially nuclear Iran to be dealt with by an Obama or Clinton administration, will do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. As of April, 2008, only ten months remain for President Bush to act. Also, a preemptive war against Iran, if it goes well (a decidedly big IF), will likely boost Senator McCain’s chances against the presumed Clinton and/or Obama Democratic ticket in November.

The recent removal of Admiral Fallon, a critic of a potential Iran War, also clears the way within the military leadership for a fully-supported effort to exercise the will of the Commander-in-Chief.

Time will tell if this war scenario plays out, but the odds are heavily stacked in favor of a wider regional war pitting the Western allies (plus Israel) against Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.

Links and Sources:

Syria Plans Emergency Drill amid Fears of War with Israel–Voice of America, April 9, 2008

Israeli intel projects a one-month war with Syria–World Tribune.com, April 9, 2008

US Military Strike set on Iran? by W. Joseph Stroupe of the International Analyst Network, April 7, 2008

Palestinians Fight Amongst Each Other Again

Palestinians Die in Hamas-Fatah Battles

Once again, Palestinian factions battled it out in the Gaza Strip,
as the two main factions, Hamas and Fatah, wrestle for control of the
Palestinian non-state known as the Palestinian Authority. (Hamas
controls the Gaza Strip, from which Hamas continues to fire hundreds
of rockets at Israel), while Fatah controls the West Bank.


Palestinians Killed in Hamas-Fatah Clashes in Gaza
–By VOA News,
December 31, 2007