Während am Neujahrstag am Grenzzaun zwischen Israel und Gaza bei einem Schußwechsel mit der IDF ein Hams-Mitglied getötet und drei weitere verletzt werden erhöht sich die Anzahl der im Gazastreifen bei innerpalästinensischen Kämpfen Getöteten um zwei auf acht. Nach neuesten Berichten hat neben den rivalisierenden Hamas und Fatah auch der Dagmush-Clan in einigen Vororten von Gaza City mit gemischt. Mindestens zwei Kämpfer des Clans werden erschossen. Einer der Getöteten soll ein Neffe von Fatah-Führer Ahmad Hillis sein. Unter den Getöteten verbleibt es bei zwei Zivilisten. Im Grundsatz wurde wohl das "Versammlungsverbot" der Hamas eingehalten. Clashes traten in der Mehrzahl auf wenn Milizionäre sich auf Dächer postierten und in die Luft schossen, abwarteten bis die Hamas-Polizei anrückte um sich darauf hin mehrstündigen Schießereien hinzugeben. Von einer politisch bedeutsamen "Bewegung" gegen die Hamas kann da wohl keine Rede sein. Derweil agiert die Hamas weiterhin mit Repressionen gegen Fatah-Führer. So wirs bei weiteren zehn Verhafteten auch Abu Thaer, bekannt aus einem Bericht von Charles Landsman inhaftiert. Israelische Operationen werden über den Neujahrstag aus Jenin, Kufar Dan und Qabatia gemeldet. Im Gazastreifen werden massive "Flurbereinigungsmaßnahmen" durch eine kleine IDF-Panzer-Flotille und Bulldozer durchgeführt. Schwere, gebietsbereinigende Explosionen.
West Bank roadblocks have proven themselves in preventing terror attacks against Israel and will not be removed, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday during a visit to an Israel Defense Forces post in the northern West Bank. "The method of roadblocks has proven itself," Barak told a group of IDF soldiers from the Golani Brigade. "There is no way to effectively fight terrorism without actual daily control of the area." The defense minister added, however, that Israel was making an attempt to alleviate the Palestinians' plight. "We are trying to make life easier for the Palestinians by opening roadblocks on the outskirts," he said. "We have recently opened dozens of dirt blockings and removed two of the 16 major roadblocks. We may do a few other things to ease the Palestinians' lives." [Settlers from the Matityahu East neighborhood of Modi'in Illit broke through the perimeter fence surrounding their development and planted two mobile homes on land that residents of the neighboring Palestinian village of Bil'in claim is theirs, the spokesman for the Judea and Samaria police district said Tuesday. It marked the first time that haredim living in the West Bank have put up structures without permission from the authorities.]
The terrorists who carried out Friday's shooting attack near the West Bank city of Hebron, killing two Israelis, were both members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, according to information made public Tuesday. The terrorists turned themselves into Palestinian Authority general intelligence custody immediately following the attack, due to fears they would be captured by Israeli security forces that were in pursuit. ... The PA general intelligence did not immediately inform Israel that the terrorists were in its custody, and only did so once the Shin Bet security service approached Palestinian officials. Following the Shin Bet request, Palestinian intelligence confirmed that the terrorists had turned themselves in, and even handed over to Israel the victims' weapons, which the assailants had taken following the attack, as well as the weapons used in the shooting. The terrorist who was killed was identified as 23-year-old Hebron resident Bassel Natsha. The two who turned themselves in are 24-year-old Hebron resident Ali Dandanes, a court clerk and Fatah member who has ties to the Palestinian general intelligence, and 26-year-old Hebron resident Amar Taha, a Fatah member and a member of the Palestinian national security forces.
A senior Hamas official among thousands of Palestinian pilgrims stranded in Egypt threatened Tuesday the group would begin a hunger strike unless they be allowed to return to the Gaza Strip through a border crossing not controlled by Israel. Ayman Taha's threat came a day after some of the pilgrims housed in temporary shelters in northern Sinai burned mattresses and broke windows, protesting Egypt's refusal to let them enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing. Hamas officials among the more than 3,000 pilgrims who recently completed the hajj in Saudi Arabia, fear they will be arrested if they return through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing.
[Olmert was diagnosed several weeks ago with prostate cancer but has not scheduled an operation. He told Yatzpan, "I don't have time to take care of personal and health matters." Langsam wird dubios.]
Cyber-War-Update: After an 18-month-long investigation, the Israel Police revealed late Monday night that they had arrested an Israeli Arab teen suspected of participating in what they called "Internet terror" - hacking in to Israeli Web sites and causing millions of shekels worth of damage. ... Well-known companies and organizations, including Bank Hapoalim, the Rambam Medical Center, Bank Otsar Ha-Hayal, BMW Israel, Subaru Israel and Citroen Israel, real estate company Tarbut-Hadiur and the Jump fashion Web site all found their Web sites shut down and replaced by the message: "Hacked by Team-Evil Arab hackers u KILL palestin people we KILL Israel servers." + al-Farhan-Update: An outspoken Saudi blogger is being held for “purposes of interrogation,” the Saudi Interior Ministry confirmed Tuesday. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, an Interior Ministry spokesman reached by telephone, said that the blogger, Fouah al-Farhan, was “being questioned about specific violations of nonsecurity laws.” Mr. Farhan’s blog, which discusses social issues, had become one of the most widely read in Saudi Arabia.
Yarid Lapid: The Italians are happy, the Brits are cold, the Germans are calculated, and we like to complain. [Falsches English, muß lauten calculating.] Außerde, wenn man den Innenminister ansieht dann eher "loves to complain aubout complains". Yoav Stern: Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit appears to be dissatisfied with a great many things lately. After pouring out his wrath on the human rights organizations that inform the U.S. Congress of the dimensions of human trafficking in Israel, he complained that the police are not using enough force against offenders and that the courts mete out overly lenient punishments. Now, judging by Sheetrit's remarks to Haaretz, the Arab-Israeli public can expect uneasy times. Israel's Arab minority is linked to the government through a system of delicate and complex ties. In public or personal matters, many of these ties pass through the Interior Ministry. Here, in a 1950s Jerusalem building, every few years a new minister takes his seat and dictates policy that can seal the fate of many families.
Mohammed Salah, "The end of an arab year: A country without a president and a nation without an impact": The day before the last of 2007 doesn't seem to be much different from that same day last year. The same files remained open and unsolved. The Arab situations are getting worse and thereby do not call for welcoming the New Year with optimism. Moreover, it is no longer pessimistic to say that the situation is prone to deteriorate more on the Arab front in the year that will begin after tomorrow. In fact, this is a mere reading of reality. Indubitably, these files will become more burdensome, as new dilemmas and crises, and may be disasters, add up to the list. Annapolis conference and the US vow to proclaim the Palestinian state before the end of 2008 did not alleviate the prevailing sense that this vow will not become a reality and this is mere talk, even if the American President George Bush and his administration are convinced otherwise.
David Kimche, "2008 - When we need to start keeping our promises": Ring out the old, ring in the new," wrote the renowned British poet, Lord Tennyson. "Ring, happy bells, across the snow; The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true... Ring out the thousand wars of old, ring in the thousand years of Peace."
Und zum Abschluß... in einem Punkt beginnt das Jahr genauso bescheiden wie es aufgehört hat: Not that anti-Semitism doesn't continue to be something that Jews need to be vigilant about - of particular danger, in my view, are the lefty European intelligentsia, who have taken up the cause of the downtrodden Palestinians largely as an excuse to denounce Israel. American evangelicals, however, love Jews as well as Jewish Israel. Die Verdummung schreitet voran.