PRAYER ALERT: Israel’s current offensive against jihadist Hamas in Gaza is directed in part at Hamas’ caches of about 10,000 rockets. Hamas got those rockets from Iran after 2005. That was the year that Israel gave Gaza to Palestinian Arabs in exchange for peace. Instead of living in peace, Hamas has been firing hundreds of rocket attacks on Israel every year from Gaza. Israel now hopes to destroy Hamas’ weapons caches before they become capable of wider destruction. Israeli military officers are even proposing a ground invasion. It may be only way to really eliminate those stockpiles of arms.
Hamas has long declared its aim to destroy Israel. So has Iran. So has Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, which is Israel’s northern neighbor. Hezbollah waged its own rocket attacks on Israel in July 2006. Israel hammered back at Hezbollah strongholds with air and ground forces. The war ended in a stalemate a month later. Hezbollah refrained from rocket attacks against Israel after that.
Israel hopes for the same result with Hamas. Hamas, a branch of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, has been impaired by the collapse of its Sunni MB ally in Egypt. Hamas has also alienated its former Shiite ally Iran. It has refused to support the Shiite-Alawite Syrian government in its civil war. Weakened and impoverished, Hamas agreed to a unity government with its long-time Palestinian rival Fatah. But Fatah opposes Hamas’ current escalation of its rocket attacks on Israel.
So Hamas is turning back toward Iran. Out of its abiding hostility to Israel, Iran is helping Hamas again. How else can we explain Hamas’ statement on July 15 that it is coordinating ground attacks on Israel with Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon? How else can we explain the three rocket attacks on Israel fired from Lebanon since July 11? That has opened a second front which could spread the conflict past Israel’s borders.
Lebanon’s army quickly moved in to halt any further rocket attacks on Israel from Hezbollah. But the threat of a wider conflict isn’t over…
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