The Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between
As always in recent years, Israeli officials also kept a wary eye on
In the north, military tensions remained high between Israeli army forces and the Lebanese Shiite Hizbullah militia amid more warlike words from the extremist group’s clerical leaders. Hundreds of Hizbullah forces reportedly staged provocative military exercises near the border with
In the wake of the fresh Palestinian rocket attacks and threats of the same from Iran, Syria and Hizbullah—but on a far more dangerous scale—Israel’s political scene was alive with activity as the campaign began for a new national parliamentary vote, scheduled for February 10, 2009. Opinion surveys continued to predict that the conservative Likud party will emerge victorious in the contest, along with its traditional right wing and religious allies.