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Friday, November 16, 2012

Israel Responds to Hamas' Attack (Updated and bumped)


Unless you have been living in a bubble, you know that Hamas recently stepped up rocket attacks against Israel, finally forcing Israel to respond by eliminating one of the top Palestinian murderers (Ahmed Jabari), and targeting Hamas weapons caches. See this article from the Daily Mail. For a more personal viewpoint, check out this post at Red Alert Politics (h/t Instapundit).

The Wall Street Journal reports:
The conflict's course from here on out rests largely with Israel and its neighbor, Egypt—the two nations that form the cornerstone of U.S. policy in the region, but which have seen ties fray in the months since an Islamist government came to power in Egypt.

U.S. efforts to calm the situation depend largely on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, analysts said. Before becoming president earlier this year, he was a top leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, which has close ideological links to Hamas. With his election, he inherited oversight of billions of dollars in annual U.S. military support and a U.S.-brokered Israeli-Egyptian peace deal that has defined regional security for three decades.

On Thursday, Mr. Morsi ordered Egypt's prime minister to lead a delegation into Gaza on Friday, Egyptian state television reported. The visit would pose an unprecedented challenge to Israel, perhaps forcing it to scale back its military operations while the delegation is there. Mr. Morsi's activist response to Israeli-Palestinian violence marks a stark reversal from the more hands-off policies of his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

President Barack Obama and administration officials have been in contact with leaders of Israel and Egypt—staunchly supporting Israel's operation while pressing the Egyptians to rein in Hamas, officials said.
. . . For many Palestinians, a more supportive government in Egypt would be their first sense of change from an Arab Spring that until now has largely passed them by. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the two retain close ties.

"This time we know that this is a new Egypt—a new Arab world," said Haidar Eid, an associate professor of political science at Al Aqsa University in the Gaza Strip. "We are expecting the Arab World to do something."

Many Israelis and Palestinians argue that it was the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that helped emboldened Palestinian factions, including some elements of Hamas, to take a more defiant and confrontational approach to Israel that helped trigger this current flare-up.

After nearly four years of calm along the Gaza border, Palestinian militants have slowly stepped up their mortar and rocket attacks on Israel in recent months. Hamas, which in recent years had acted to prevent rival militants from firing at Israel, began to join in the firing itself, in what some observers believed was a response to rival factions' mounting criticism of the group for refusing to confront Israel.
So the Obama administration is relying on Morsi to restore calm. Problem is, Morsi doesn't exactly harbor any good will toward Israel. Just under a month ago, Gateway Pundit posted a video of Morsi praying for the destruction of Jews. And the Washington Free Beacon reported a couple of weeks ago:
A rising tide of anti-Semitism in Egypt has stoked concerns among Americans and Israelis that extremism will guide Cairo’s foreign policy under the Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi.

Prominent Egyptian political figures, religious clerics, and even Morsi himself have joined in calling to destroy Israel in recent weeks. Yet President Barack Obama’s administration and other Western nations have remained silent in an effort to avoid friction with Cairo’s new ruling class.
 However, this Times of Israel article seems to give Morsi the benefit of the doubt.

(Update Nov. 16, 2012: I was having problems with this post displaying, so I had to delete the extended quote from the Daily Mail article and re-post.)

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