Tag Archives: Gaza Strip

TROUBLE BOILING IN THE MIDDLE EAST

BLOG 487

September 28,  2020

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

TROUBLE BOILING IN THE MIDDLE EAST

This year in my recent trip to Israel, I observed the bitter feelings that exists between Israelis and Palestinians and vice versa. Hostilities are everywhere.  In recent blogs, I’ve celebrated the diplomatic breakthroughs achieved between Israel and Arab countries. Such is an important achievement. However, those accomplishments only mask a fierce reality waiting below the surface.

The Jerusalem Post suggested that Hezbollah had stored massive amounts of weaponry in Lebanon that were part of the terrible explosion in Beirut. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said,  “Iran has taken Lebanon hostage through Hezbollah.”   Moreover, in August Prime Minister Netanyahu warned Hamas (who controls the Gaza Strip) that Israel would respond forcefully if the terrorist group did not stop launching incendiary and explosive balloons into Israel.  

What is currently happening inside Gaza? Hamas military prosecutors on Thursday charged three Palestinian activists in the Gaza Strip with “weakening revolutionary spirit” — a charge that could lead to years in prison — for holding a video conference with Israelis.

Rami Aman, a 38-year-old peace activist and Gaza resident, was detained in early April after holding a public “Skype With Your Enemy” video call in which Israelis participated. He has said his organization seeks to empower young Palestinians and that many in Gaza share his view that speaking to Israelis should not be forbidden.

“If I were to go into the streets and tell people ‘let’s talk with an Israeli,’ thousands of people would be here,” Aman said during a videoconference, (Facebook)

Authorities in Gaza view “normalizing” with Israelis as a criminal offense. While Hamas does permit merchants and those seeking humanitarian assistance inside Israel to communicate with Israeli authorities, it has cracked down on those who have sought to establish person-to-person ties with Israelis. “Holding any activity or communication with the Israeli occupation, under any cover, is a crime punishable by law; it is a betrayal of our people and its sacrifices,” Interior Minister Iyad al-Bozm wrote in a Facebook post in April.

Hamas routinely arrests and tortures critics and dissidents within the coastal enclave. Aman himself had already faced harassment by security forces for his activism. In July 2019, Hamas detained him for two weeks after organizing a joint bike ride with Israelis: Gazans biked side by side with Israelis, with only the security fence dividing them. On another occasion, Aman was detained for three days after he publicly criticized the alleged beating of a young man by officers from the Hamas-run interior ministry, according to Human Rights Watch. Although both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International immediately called for the activists’ release, Hamas authorities have held the detainees for five months without trial.

Get the picture? Hostilities could  explode at any time.

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A SURPRISE AT SUNRISE!

BLOG 483
August 16, 2020

palestine flag

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

A SURPRISE AT SUNRISE!

Israel has agreed to suspend West Bank annexation plans in exchange for the normalization of ties with the United Arab Emirates, according to a joint statement from Israel, the UAE and the US released by US President Donald Trump. UAE Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayad confirms in a tweet that Israel has agreed to suspend annexation plans, but says that the countries have only agreed to work toward the normalization of relations. The UAE and Israel also agreed to cooperation and setting a roadmap towards establishing a bilateral relationship.

While this is big news this week, it not actually new. Israel and the UAF have been doing business under the table for a considerable amount of time. The driving force behind this mutual public recognition is animosity toward Iran. The Arabs are particularly hostile and the world knows Iran continues to seek nuclear weapons. In this agreement, Israelis is the big winner and Iran the loser.

Israel had already put annexation on hold because of Washington’s preoccupation with their own problems. Trump continues to lag in the polls and the White House struggles with those worries. Reactions across the region have been predicable.

The mayor of the Beit El settlement Shai Alon accused Netanyahu of selling out his movement. “They pulled a fast one on the settlers. Our future is in Judea and Samaria and in courageous decisions which our leaders will make. Notagreements that we sign today and are not worth the paper they are written on tomorrow.” But Oded Revivi, mayor of the Efrat settlement says suspending the annexation bid is a “proper price,” for normalizing ties, while predicting a change in how settlements are perceived.

Of course, Palestinian officials were not happy. Hanan Ashrawi said, “Israel got rewarded for not declaring openly what it’s been doing to Palestine illegally & persistently since the beginning of the occupation,” She also said the UAE has come forward with its “secret dealings/normalization with Israel.”

Arab countries are recognizing the reality of Israel’s endurance and economic wellbeing. Israel’s are the major military power in the Middle East. It makes more sense to play ball with them than to stand outside the stadium.

Undoubtedly more normalization will come.

YOU MIGHT ENJOY MY NEWEST BOOK HOT OFF THE PRESS
82 DAYS ON OKINAWA
Harper-Collins Publishers
JUST OUT – IT’S A THRILLER!
Col. Art Shaw & Robert L. Wise

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA at your local book store or on Amazon.

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ANNEXATION HEATS UP!

BLOG 475
June 15, 2020

palestine-gaza-strip

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

ANNEXATION HEATS UP!

The idea of annexing part of Palestinian land has been pushed off the front page by concerns about the virus and the protests over the death of George Floyd. Not so in Israel! Taking advantage of urging by President Donald Trump, Netanyahu continues to pursue the idea. However, the response in Israel has been tense.

Thousands of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv Saturday evening to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to begin annexing parts of the West Bank next month. Some called his idea a war crime. Police initially sought to block the rally but backtracked Friday after meeting with organizers, who urged participants to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Dozens of officers were securing the demonstration after police said attendance would be capped at 2,000, though the Haaretz Daily put the turnout at 6,000 people in what appeared to be the largest protest in the country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Of course, the Palestinians are not happy. Announced at the end of January in Washington, US President Donald Trump’s peace plan provides for the annexation by Israel of 30 percent of the West Bank — covering all the settlements and the Jordan Valley — with conditional provisions for a Palestinian state in the rest of the territory, including some areas on the outskirts of East Jerusalem. The Palestinians have rejected the US plan in its entirety.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex the 132 settlements, home to some 450,000 Israelis, next month, and the rest of the territory allocated to Israel soon after, subject to American approval.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said the Palestinians were hoping that Netanyahu would not go ahead with his annexation plan. He called annexation an “existential threat” that would mark the “total erosion of our national aspirations.” The PA’ has submitted a counter plan that calls for the creation of a “sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarized” with “minor modifications of borders where necessary.” The Palestinian text foresaw possible land swaps between the two future states on a like-for-like basis, he said at a press conference. Shtayyeh declined to provide further details about the the 4 1/2-page proposal but said the Palestinian position on major issues is well-known.

What’s next? Sounds like Netanyahu is plowing ahead. Regardless.

YOU MIGHT ENJOY MY NEWEST BOOK HOT OFF THE PRESS
82 DAYS ON OKINAWA
Harper-Collins Publishers
JUST OUT – IT’S A THRILLER!
Col. Art Shaw & Robert L. Wise

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA at your local book store or on Amazon.

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ISRAELI MISSILES!

BLOG 469
April 27, 2020

wmd

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

ISRAELI MISSILES!

Let’s take a break from Israeli political turmoil and another report on the corona virus (as if we needed ANOTHER discussion of that) and look at a new discovery just released to the public. As you already know, for some time Hezbollah has been camped in Lebanon with rockets ready to fire at Israel. At the south, the Gaza strip has constantly shot rockets at southern Israeli communities. While Iran is a greater distance away, they have made no bones about wanting to drop the Big Bomb on Israel.

Guided missiles have also played a part in the Syrian civil war. While America has been backing out of Syria, the Russians have been forging ahead with dreams of turning Syria into a type of satellite country. Russia has not hesitated to add to the stockpile of weapons. How can Israel protect itself?

The Israeli Defense Ministry (IDF) has made a breakthrough in using lasers to intercept rocket and anti-tank guided missiles. Defense Minister Natali Bennett said recently, “we will add a laser sword when dealing with threats from the North or the South.”

For ten years, the IDF has been working on this weapon with a capacity to wipe out a number of types of weapons, including mortars, drones, anti-tank missiles as well as the bombardment from the sky. The system is based on high-energy electric lasers rather than chemical laser technology and is far more effective. However, this new weapon will be used along with the current “Iron Drome” defensive system that has proved highly effective in stopping attacks on Tel Aviv. While the old system costs thousands of dollars for a single shot, the new laser system only costs a few for the same.

Like something from a James Bond movie, the new system cannot be heard or seen. Quite a step forward!

With threats from neighboring countries always being a problem, Israel has zoomed ahead in the production of armaments that has made them the predominant country in the Middle East. When one considers the size of Israelbeing so much smaller than any of the surrounding countries, the new anti-missile system marks another amazing accomplishment.

YOU MIGHT ENJOY MY NEWEST BOOK HOT OFF THE PRESS
82 DAYS ON OKINAWA
Harper-Collins Publishers
JUST OUT – IT’S A THRILLER!
Col. Art Shaw & Robert L. Wise

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA at your local book store or on Amazon.

Leave a comment

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THE SITUATION IN GAZA

BLOG 431
June 10, 2019

gaza

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST – Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation,ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

THE SITUATION IN GAZA

I’m sure you are aware of the recent intense three-day exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Four Israelis were killed as well as 25 Palestinians. Through the assistance of an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire, the encounter came to a halt. However, the pause is only momentary. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Auhri said, “Our message is that this round is over, but the conflict will not end until we regain our rights.” Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah predicted the fight could begin again as early as this summer.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Benjamin, Netanyahu said Israel was already preparing for the next encounter. The Iron Dome system for rocket intervention proved 85% successful in intercepting Hamas rockets. Almost 700 rockets were fired during a 48-hour period, sending many residents to bomb shelters. In turn, Israel knocked out six high-rise Gaza head-quarters for intelligence gathering as well as five apartment buildings where military commanders lived. Israel also killed a money-changer involved in the transfer of funds from Iran.

Abba Ebon once said, “the Arabs never miss the chance to miss the chance.” Why can’t Hamas give up on firing rockets when it is always so costly for them? Missing the change is only part of the problem. There’s more to the story than the West usually recognizes. For the past 12-years, Israel and Egypt have enforced a land and maritime siege on Gaza. From the point of view of Israel, the embargo is necessary to keep armaments and weapons out of terrorist hands. However, Gaza sees this as a violation of their rights and a serious clamp on their economy. While they consistently lose, they despair enough to feel they have nothing to lose. Desperate opponents make for frightening enemies!

So Gaza remains a political problem Israel must face. Until the two million residents can see a better economic future, they will not stop shooting.

Hang on! There’s more to come!

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UPHEAVAL BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS Part II

BLOG 404 October 1, 2018

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST ~ Each week Robert L. Wise, PhD, explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

Last week we noted:

On August 24, American President Donald Trump ordered the State Department to redirect the funding for programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to unspecified projects elsewhere. The Palestinians screamed!

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat denounced the loss of funds as “disgraceful” and accused the USA of meddling in the internal affairs of the West Bank and attempting to impact their national options. Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi accused America of “cheap blackmail as a political tool.” He said further, “there is no glory in constantly bullying and punishing a people under occupation.”

Here’s what followed.

On September 11th  the Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization offices in Washington. This was the next step in President Trump’s policy of putting pressure on the Palestinians to come to the bargaining table. The move was applauded in Israel and deplored in the West Bank.

The person behind this move was National Security Adviser John Bolton, usually recognized as an aggressive right-wing advocate of military action.  Bolton also warned the ICC (International Criminal Court) against taking any actions against Israel and/or the United States. Established in 2002, the ICC has stood as an attempt to bring justice in the international arena. However, Bolton said the ICC “has been ineffective, unaccountable, and … outright dangerous.”

Palestinian officials reacted angrily. Diplomat Saeb Erekat charged that the US actions were an attempt to protect Israeli war crimes. Erekat’s contempt for Trumps actions were reflected in his statement. “I don’t think these people can be part of any peace process or sit in any negotiations. They are really part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

However, Israeli Deputy Minister Michael Oren noted that in the Oslo Accords Palestinians were forbidden to press their pursuit of statehood outside negotiations with Israel. Obviously, they have gotten away with violations of Accords they signed off on. Currently the Trump Administration is forcing them to pay a price for these violations and they don’t like it.

As we observed last week, how one views this depends on the perspective they bring to the issue. However, it is becoming clearer by the month that the Trump Administration is mounting extreme pressure on the Palestinians to negotiate.

What no one seems to recognize is that the Palestinians have one supreme goal to annihilate the entire country of Israel. The rest of the Arab world has basically realized this is not going to happen. When will the Palestinians join the party?

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TAKING A LOOK AT THE OTHER SIDE

BLOG 337 February 14, 2017

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            A young Arab boy was waiting at an intersection in Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem. Having sunk down behind the steering wheel of a beat-up sedan, he could barely see over the steering wheel. The boy stuck his arm out the window and signaled like an adult driver before zooming through. He could not have been more than 12-years old.

Unusual? Not in East Jerusalem where virtually no one cares. You can get away with almost anything you want. The struggle has become just that bad.

Westerners are more concerned with Israel and the Old City of Jerusalem and generally give little thought to the Palestinians on the other side, called East Jerusalem. Americans certainly know about the suicide bombers and terrorists who kill children. Those stories have been all over the media. However, there is another more human side to the Palestinian story and we should occasionally visit the deeply personal struggles of everyday citizens who live there and are not terrorist.

Of the 850,00 people living in Jerusalem, around 310,000 are Arabs, living in East Jerusalem with permanent residency but not citizenship in Israel. Apart from Arabs with Israeli citizenship or Arabs in the West Bank, life is far more complicated because they reside in a fragmented and politically tumultuous society. Most of these residents live in poverty and hopelessness. They endure daily discrimination everyday and poor public services across their part of the city. Currently, the rate of divorce and domestic violence against women and children is rising in East Jerusalem.

Hannah Hochner reported in Ma’ariv  that of this vastly Muslim population, 46% are under the age of 18, 37% unemployed, and 51% live below the poverty line. With such upheaval, these Arabs often feel they have nothing to lose in attacking Israelis. They now have a sense of deadlock following the election of Donald Trump with his talk of moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

The Palestinian citizens are caught in a vice. If they make efforts to cooperate with Jerusalem, they would be recognizing and accepting what they call Israeli occupation. The West Bank would see them as collaborators and traitors. On the other hand, when they follow the local mukhtas, who have virtually no leadership capacities, they get nothing.

It’s ease to blame Israel for this dilemma, but that is far from realistic. Israel certainly has their share of responsibility. However, here’s another example of why conditions continue to deteriorate in East Jerusalem. When Yasser Arafat died, he left behind three billion dollars he had pocketed that belonged to the Palestinians. The current PA leadership of Mahmoud Abbas has not proven better as he lost all control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas. While the Arab leadership twiddled their thumbs, the Israelis have built their country into a showcase of the Middle East.

At this point, no one seems to know what will come next.  And that’s the problem!

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MEMORIAL DAY ACROSS THE WORLD

BLOG 304 May 30, 2016 MEMORIAL DAY

Memorial Day: A time to remember.

On this day of sacred remembrance, we pause to consider what war has cost us. In the United States, we remember the fallen who fought for our highest values. While the rest of the world has other days of commemoration, universally we salute those who gave their lives and pause in thankful prayer for their sacrifices.

The Syrian Civil War has sent an entire population running for their lives to other countries while a countless multitude have fallen, many into unmarked graves. In Israel, knife attacks have killed 34 Israel soldiers and 190 Palestinians. Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Abbas and the Hamas leaders shed no tears but don’t want the confrontations to flair up and spin our of control. The 2014 Gaza war cost their side far too much.

Today the suffering and misery of the 1.8 million Gazan’s who live in 365-square kilometer ghetto is unbearable. Suicides in Gaza increase everyday. The water is undrinkable and there is no electricity. When a group of refugees attempted to escape across the Mediterranean, their boat capsized and left 500 to drown. Death is a daily specter in the Gaza Strip.

In addition, the war in Gaza left behind a construction crisis. One hundred and thirty thousand homes were destroyed or damaged. To keep Hamas from confiscating cement, iron rods, and construction materials for building attack tunnels, Israel put in place an embargo. Israel and the United Nations have a computerized system to monitor any supply of cement that comes into the Gaza. The result is that the area is in total collapse and looks as devastated as the day the war ended.

Where is it all going? Nowhere. Oh, enough despair exists to produce another uprising. From the Israeli point-of-view, the Palestinians are too dumb not to get the point that more attacks will only result in death. From the Palestinian perspective, they have no other alternative but to die fighting. The result? More death for everyone.

Such terrible alternatives have pushed the world into war after war. Remember the social protest popular song of the 70’s Where Have All the Flowers Gone? ending with, “when will they ever learn?”

On this Memorial Day, may it be a time to learn and demonstrate that we had better understand. We have already stood at more than enough grave sites. Let us commit ourselves to seeking the higher road to peace and being unafraid to walk down the nobler pathway.

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PROBING THE CURRENT ISRAELI – PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

2014 is starting to feel like 1914. (the start of World War I). The smell of smoke is in the air wherever we look from the China Sea to the Ukraine to the Middle East, war or the threat of war, rings through the air.

As the radical militants and jihadist continue to strike, there are important undercurrents in the background that are often not noticed. Such is the case in the on-going war in Gaza. The hidden message in the recent reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas is a case in point and one of the reasons for the continued strikes by Israel. Of course, the fact that Hama fired thousands of rockets on Israel set the stage for the conflict. The refusal to stop and join a cease fire has perpetuated the conflict. The creation of tunnels into Israel to allow terrorist to attack also threw gasoline on the fire.

Hamas’s persistence in firing rockets when the Iron Dome System knocks every one out that comes close to a population center is a tell-tale sign of how Hamas thinks. They believe in bullets and the sacrifice of human life –even when it is their own.

Have you noticed that there have been virtually no Arab responses supporting Hamas from the surrounding countries? The Egyptian government even blamed Hamas and not Israel for dozens of Palestinian deaths. Egypt has kept their border closed, keeping Gaza residents from fleeing to Egypt. As the carnage became worse, a few governments sent out mixed signals that were feeble compared to their screams in other conflicts with Israel.

Within the folds of this silence is a realization of what the reconciliation talks between the PA and Hamas would end up meaning. Hamas has changed its strategy and was using the Hezbollah model from Lebanon. It’s a “bullets plus ballots” approach putting a high emphasis on killing. In Gaza, they maintain 20,000 well-trained military units and security personnel.  Since the June 2007 military takeover of Gaza, Hamas has put 50,000 employees on the public payroll. Hamas has made some shifts to cooperation with the PA, but are actually challenging Fatah in their own backyard. Gaza workshops in turn stepped up production of M-57 missiles.

In other words, Hamas has put more fire-power in the PA and created a greater striking force against Israel. By setting up rockets in residential areas, they seek a propaganda advantage of accusing Israel of attacking women and children. The Israelis aren’t buying it and are destroying all possible sites. Israel will either stop them now or pay the price later.

These adjustments have been spurred by set-backs that directly or in-directly affected Gaza. The loss of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt as well as the cessation of smuggling arms through the Sinai Peninsula hurt Hamas. The decline of financial subsidies from Iran and Qatar blew another log on the fire. Equally bad was the growing resentment of Gaza citizens because of unemployment, hardships, and constant repression. The huge losses in the current warfare won’t help their standing. Moreover, as Israel pounds Gaza militants into the sand, the Israelis are destroying the “bullets and ballots” strategy. Moreover, they are wiping out thousands of rockets and attack tunnels.

The war goes on. Hamas would be smarter to stop firing useless rockets and find a new approach. Anyone for reconciliation? Sorry. The answer is no.

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ANOTHER LOOK AT THE CURRENT HOSTILITIES IN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

With pressure mounting from the United States and the United Nations, the war between Israel and Hamas isn’t slowing down. In fact, Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear Israel would not stop until the rocket attacks from Hamas are ended. An independent observer must wonder about what keeps fueling the fires.

A number of factors exist that keep the attacks coming. Interestingly enough, of the over one hundred rockets Hamas has fired (including one drone down), virtually none have hit any Israeli city or killed one Jew. On other hand, Israel is turning the Gaza Strip into rumble and leveling Hamas structures to the ground. 168 Palestinians have been killed. 1,300 are now in United Nations Shelters. The numbers reflect Israel’s intention to stop the rocket attacks that have gone ceaselessly for months.

Hamas responds that Israeli missiles are hitting mosques and civilian targets – which is true. However, the problem is that Hamas uses the centers to cover their attacks. In order to stop the rocket attacks, these sites must be destroyed. The use of civilian targets to thwart bombing attempts has backfired on Hamas. The bombing of civilian houses is the result of Hamas military officers and operatives living there.

An additional fear that prompts continued warfare is the growing presence of ISIS and its successes inside Iraq. ISIS’S leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi discussed with his lieutenants expanding their attacks beyond Syria and Iraq. Jordan would become an obvious target. While ISIS has no direct connection with Hamas, they share a common goal to establish imposition of Islamic law on women and the persecution of all other religions in the region through the use of violence. The two organization have too much in common to be written off as not having common goals. Obviously, Hamas will be looking for a new supply of weapons and rockets as the Israeli’s destroy what they have left. The specter of ISIS only fuels the flames to stop the terrorist assaults before they get started.

In today’s warfare, Israel knows that time is on its side. The military power differential between Israel and its foes has grown. The current turmoil in the Arabic world only exposes their failure to modernize and unify. In addition, Palestinian terror attacks inside Israel appear to be contained. By the time Israel ends their assaults on Hamas, the politico-terrorist group’s significance will be further pushed into the sand.

The only threat on the horizon is a nuclear Iran. Should Western attempts fail to halt their development of nuclear weapons, Israel is capable of handling this problem.

Why does the war continue? Because it is to Israel’s advantage to do so. The tragedy is that Palestinian Gaza Strip civilians will pay a heavy price for their unconditional support of Hamas.

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