Israel Strikes Back

November 15, 2012

Even though the US Congress is well into its Lame Duck session, I’ve decided to take a moment to comment on the heaviest fighting to happen inside the Palestinian territories in years.

Earlier this morning, Israel resumed its assault within the Gaza Strip against the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Israel is acting in self defense against Hamas which has been increasing its rocket attacks that have long been terrorizing Israeli citizens.

The timing for Israel’s actions appear to be very calculated.

Israeli elections are coming up in January. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not afford politically to let Hamas’ increased incursions go unchallenged. However, there are other elements that may have played a role in Israel’s strategic planning.

First, Syria has long been an important mechanism for arming pro-Palestinian militant groups inside Gaza. With the civil war in Syria refusing to abate, Hamas currently lacks the ability to re-arm itself like it once did in the past; therefore, Hamas presently presents less of a security challenge in terms of fighting back.

Earlier today, Turkey officially recognized the newly formed Syrian rebel coalition as the legitimate ruling body of Syria. This is a huge blow to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the incumbent Syrian government that has been arming militant groups within the Palestinian territories.

Second, Israel has made no secret of its desire to forcefully curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions. If Israel were to attack Iran, it could open itself up to retribution attacks on its borders from militant groups inside Palestine. Weakening groups like Hamas would be absolutely necessary in the run-up to striking Iran. Israel is hesitant to fight a war with multiple groups on multiple fronts.

Israel began systematically assassinating Hamas targets yesterday with the killing of Hamas military chief, Ahmed Jabari. Israel has continued its campaign by eliminating dozens of other targets since Jabari. Israel refers to this ongoing engagement as Operation Pillar of Cloud.

With Israel’s national elections coming in January, I would not be surprised if the Israeli military struck Iran before the end of the current Gregorian calendar.

What do you think? Do you agree, disagree?

Ahmed Jabari’s car after he was assassinated by Israel

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