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Friday, April 08, 2011

Hamas is spoiling for a fight

Barry Rubin writes that Hamas' deliberate attack on an Israeli school bus in the Gaza envelope on Thursday shows that the organization is looking to go to war again with Israel.
Two events show us that an emboldened Hamas in the Gaza Strip is moving toward war with Israel.

First, an Israeli school bus, painted bright yellow, was hit by fire from the Gaza Strip and at least one child was seriously wounded. This is not just another terrorist attack but part of a wider strategy. What is strategically significant here is how the bus was attacked. Usually, attacks from the Gaza Strip — either carried out or sanctioned by the Hamas regime there — are by homemade rockets, mortars, or attempted cross-border ground attacks. Deaths and damage are usually random.

In this case, though, the attack was carried out with an advanced anti-tank rocket. In other words, a terrorist deliberately aimed at the bus and fired, hoping to kill the maximum number of children.

But there’s more. Hamas can fire an advanced anti-tank rocket because the Egyptian revolution has ended a regime that acted in its own interest to block most arms shipments to Hamas. The Egypt-Gaza border is now open. Terrorists and superior weapons are flooding into Gaza.

Another demonstration of this fact was the second major incident in which Hamas fired an Iranian-made Grad missile, far superior to the usual homemade rockets, at Israel. In this case, it was shot down by an Israeli anti-missile, part of the new defense system deployed only a few days earlier. A total of 50 rockets and mortars were fired on that one day, equaling the number shot from the Gaza Strip at Israel during the entire month of March. There were also several attempts at cross-border ground attacks, more in one day than at any time in the past.

It was clear to the Hamas leadership that this escalation — and probably more to follow — brings the situation closer to another war like the one fought in December 2008-January 2009 after Hamas ended the ceasefire and launched a massive rocket and mortar barrage against Israel.
But why - after being so soundly defeated by Israel two years ago - would Hamas want to go to war again. Barry has an interesting theory about that and it's one that merits consideration. Barry believes that Hamas is hoping in a best case scenario to draw Egypt into a war with Israel, and in a less-than-best-case scenario to draw hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood volunteers to Gaza through the now-open borders to fight against Israel.

If you think that's far-fetched, think again.

Aren't you glad there's now 'democracy' in Egypt? Aren't you glad that the US abandoned its longtime ally Hosni Mubarak? What could go wrong?

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At 3:10 PM, Blogger Channel Surfer said...

Moving toward war with Israel? Isn't shooting missiles at a country actually acts of war? I say this a lot of times (and did on EoZ), if you don't respect yourself, don't expect others to respect you. Israel often acts without any self-respect.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yup. The worst Hamas can do is lose to fight another day... if the West intervenes again to prevent Israel from finishing it off.

There are no downsides to attacking Israel and plenty of upsides.

Hamas might as well go for broke.

At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or, seems to be a split in not-to-evolved leadership of Hamas, some spoil for a fight, some sort of spoiling maybe but trying to call time out if it gets too hot--



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