Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hamas jihadists launch salvos of rockets and morters at Israel

It's hard to say with certainty who is responsible for the truce breaking down (started on June 19, 2008) but if daily rocket fire since October is any indication, Hamas never thought it would work. The quick disintigration of the truce shows that Hamas has made a tactical decision to escalate violence to bring Israel to the table. Olmert has not bowed during the truce time frame as had been supposed by Arab negotiators based on his indictment and continues to run the government with confidence (for better or worse).

The Izzedine Al Qassam brigades have stated "that they have fired in retaliation" for an assassination of their operatives. ( This might be true but since the rocket fire has been going on for some time now, the question is "Is this just propaganda?” Almost 100 rockets have fallen on Israel. Seems like it.

At its start, Hamas had won international claim by brokering the truce and the PA (and Israel) had to acknowledge that a government existed in Gaza (sort of). But the fact is Hamas never reigned in other militant groups (Islamic Jihad & Al Aqsa Martyers Brigades) as it had to by preventing cross-border attacks on Israel. Do they have control? Did they try or just make an arangement with the small factions by saying and not doing? Now they claim (threaten) "thousands of Israelis" are within their rocket range. So it is clear they have been rearming and preparing their forces as had been stated by Israel.

We think the beginning of the end is at hand. The world awaits an Obama administration that promises to make Middle East peace a priority. But at what price is peace worth it? Who will take the side of peace? An Arab leader of stature needs to step forward with a bold proposal. A Hudna (temporary peace) proposed by Hamas (in the guise of a 10 year truce) is a farce. Nobody in Israel believes that they will not attack after it is over in 10 years. Yes, that is a possibility and a done deal to many.

What the Palestinians need is a leader that can rally the people behind a 2 state solution, Mahmoud Abbas is not that person nor is Ismail Haniyeh. War is looming and Israel appears to be at the end of their line. Should they attack / invade Gaza? We think not. But they probably will. Martyrs on Arab television across the world is exactly what Hamas wants.

Will the Lion be the new US President Barack Obama?