Monday, September 10, 2007

Is It Getter Hotter or Cooler?

Weather wise I wonder if we are over the worst of the summer heat. Although the days have temperatures in the upper 80’s, the evenings are starting to be a bit more pleasant. We actually haven’t switch on the air conditioner on the last two evenings.

Another week and the clocks will go back as we go off summertime and on to wintertime. Meantime the country is preparing for the New Year holiday, shops are bustling with shoppers stocking up for the 3 day weekend, this being an unusual occurrence in Israel, 2 days of the New Year holiday and 1 day for the Sabbath.

However as the weather may be cooling down, the political areana is heating up. Last week, the official Syrian Arab News Agency began to report a claim that Israel Air Force jets had flown over northern Syria the previous night, and had been spotted and engaged by Syrian air defences. According to the initial reports, the Israeli planes broke the sound barrier and dropped munitions over uninhabited areas of northern Syria, before leaving Syrian airspace. The claim of dropping munitions was later changed to a claim that the Israeli jets had jettisoned fuel tanks which had landed on Syrian soil. Subsequently, the Turkish authorities showed photographs of what was purported to be the fuel tanks on Turkish soil.

The fact is that in spite of resolution 1701, the Hizbollah have threateningly announced that they have now rearmed and have 20,000 missiles available for attacking Israel. Last year before the war they had 14,000. In spite of the evidence, the United nations force seems unwilling or unable to stem the flow of weapons from Syria.

Meanwhile missiles galore rain down on Sderot and terrorist attempts continue unabated. A Palestinian teen detained by an IDF force at a checkpoint near Nablus Sunday was found to be carrying three pipe bombs meant to be used in a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. IDF officers said terror organizations in Nablus, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front and Fatah, were making intensive efforts to launch attacks into Israel.

In the midst of all this we read that Hamas security forces wielding clubs on Friday beat protesters, hurled stun grenades and fired into the air to disperse open-air prayer meetings held by Fatah in defiance of a Hamas ban on such gatherings. Medical officials said 20 people were treated in hospital. Hamas men had set up checkpoints Friday morning throughout Gaza to prevent Fatah supporters from reaching the prayer sites. Demonstrations against Hamas were also held throughout the West Bank.

On the other foot, Palestinian security allied with the Fatah rulers of the West Bank beat Hamas protesters with clubs at a demonstration Sunday outside Hebron University. PA security forces forbade journalists from taking pictures, confiscating the camera of one photographer. Some journalists were also beaten. The Tel Aviv-based Foreign Press Association issued a statement condemning the behavior of Palestinian security.

Let’s hope the New Year will bring us peace.

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