Browsing Posts published on February 17, 2009

According to a BBC report, a large stockpile of unexploded weapons has vanished in Gaza.  Last known whereabouts: A storehouse under Hamas watch.

The story: Some of the weaponry used by Israel in last month’s Operation “Cast Lead” failed to explode as it should have.  This live ordnance is extremely dangerous, and special UN teams have been working to collect the shells and destroy them safely.  In the interim, as the materiel was being collected and the dispolsal coordinated with Israel, the shells were placed in a storehouse guarded by Hamas members.

So what happened to these weapons?  Likely Hamas commandeered them for their own purposes.  Meanwhile, the UN is demanding the materiel be returned in order to avoid a catastrophe.

Last month, we pointed out that Hamas was working quite actively to quash dissent against its activities in the Gaza Strip.  At the time, we could only cite a few sources.  Now, however, Amnesty International has published a report on the subject that presents the matter in greater detail.  You can read the full media advisory here (be aware that it does describe scenes of violence).

An excerpt:

The targets of Hamas’ deadly campaign include former detainees accused of “collaborating” with the Israeli army who escaped from Gaza’s Central Prison when it was bombed by Israeli forces on 28 December 2008, as well as former members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces and other activists of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

The campaign began shortly after the beginning of the three-week Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip on 27 December 2008 and continued after a ceasefire took effect on 18 January 2009.

Iran’s nuclear program has been the subject of public discourse for some time, but the results of international pressure have been slow in coming.  Last week’s Washington Times features an op-ed piece discussing the urgent need for results on the diplomatic front against Iran.  The issue, he notes, should not concern only Israel and other Middle East countries:

A military nuclear capability underwriting Iran’s support of terror in the region will threaten moderate Arab countries and enable Iran to project its power in a more dangerous way as well as expand its footprint in the region.

Remember, of course, that Iran acts through a number of proxies (see Hamas and Hizbullah, for some examples) who would also benefit from Iran’s increased strength.  Suffice it to say, a stronger Iran will not bring peace to the region.