Renewed Middle East Conflict Highlights Precarious Times in Gaza

It’s not often that dozens of rocket attacks and Israeli military strikes in response aren’t the only headlines that matter in the Middle East. But right now, they’re not even the only headlines that count in Israel or Gaza. More than 70 rockets launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel are just part of the tenuous situation in the region that is growing more and more complicated.

The reality is that Hamas, the strongman terrorist group that also governs the Gaza Strip, is finding itself so isolated—it’s not even the go-to terror group in Gaza anymore. That situation means that peace in the region is even more complex than ever before.

The Ma’an News Agency reported that and Egyptian official confirmed reports that Egypt is speaking with the Islamic Jihad group, not Hamas, about reaching a renewed ceasefire with Israel. This is in part due to the rock bottom relationship between Hamas and Egypt, which accuses the Gaza terrorists of interfering in their country.

And that’s just part of Hamas’ troubles—which in turn raise fears of more violence.

In the past, Hamas was strong enough to effectively manage the terror groups in their territory. Furthermore, with no serious internal threats to their authority, Hamas was growing more and more comfortable and open to amassing diplomatic victories in the Arab world. Hence, Hamas was less interested in being violent or allowing violence.

As the rulers in Gaza, Hamas clearly has at least some level of power in controlling the other terrorists there—which they’re not doing right now. Considering their previous interest in avoiding a blow up with xlpharmacy generic viagra Israel, the recent unleashing of rockets is surprising.

It raises questions as to whether or not Hamas felt the need to let someone else hit Israel to make Hamas look tougher. Perhaps even more disturbing is the possibility that Hamas needed to let Islamic Jihad run amok to avoid conflict with the smaller terror group.

Either way, it means the steady quiet in the past year-plus seems to be over.

According to the IDF spokesman’s Twitter page, more than 70 rockets have been fired at Israel since Wednesday. While that has slowed down in the last 18 hours or so, it still marked a dramatic increase from the previous months.

The IDF Blog reported that the Israeli military hit more than two dozen Gaza terror sites in response.

And that, ultimately, is the message from Israel. “Hamas must decide how they want to live—fire will be answered with fire, quiet will be answered with quiet,” Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Thursday in a press release.

Peres made it clear who is really in charge of Gaza—and who needs to decide what type of reality they want now. “The rocket fire was carried out by the Islamic Jihad but it is Hamas who are responsible,” said Peres. “The Hamas leadership claims responsibility over Gaza, if that is the case then they are responsible for everything that happens there. Israel will not allow terrorists to fire at our civilians, under any circumstances.”

Hamas better decide, and soon—before things get even more complicated than they already are.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, March 13, 2014)


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