Israel pounds Gaza from air as troops assemble!
Israel is now accelerating its air offensive in the Gaza Strip and destroyed the offices of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in the process. Among other buildings struck were the civilian police headquarters and the house of a commander of Hamas, which Israel considers a terrorist group.
While Israeli officials are maintaining that they do not seek war, their intent to send a loud warning to Hamas was clear and Israel is now seemingly intensifying its focus on targeting sites connected to the leaders of the militant Islamist movement that rules the coastal territory.
As strikes fell on Gaza, the foreign minister of Tunisia’s Islamist-led government, Rafik Abdesslem, pledged to work with the Arab League and the United Nations to stop what he called Israeli aggression.
Hamas newly found support
As the conflict between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip intensifies, Arab governments are throwing their weight behind the territory’s long-isolated Islamist leaders. Long kept at a distance by Arab autocrats, the group now finds a new set of highly influential friends including the democratically elected governments of Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, all U.S. allies. Those backers give Hamas stronger standing internationally. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi signaled the extent of the shift on Friday when he sent his prime minister to Gaza in a show of solidarity with Hamas.
The Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil toured Gaza alongside Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. “Egypt will not leave Gaza alone,” Morsi said.
Hamas long relied on two Iran and Syria for support. But the outbreak of a revolt in Syria shattered ties between Hamas and the government of President Bashar al-Assad and forced a rift between Hamas and Shiite Iran. Hamas has since repositioned itself, gaining a new set of regional partners in democratic Egypt and Tunisia, along with regionally influential Qatar and Turkey.
Hamas’s new support has given it stronger backing than it had during the 2008-2009 Israeli military offensive into Gaza, during which the Arab world largely stood aside. The leaders of the new Middle East have promised that this time will be different. What we are seeing now taking place is a major opinion shift in Hamas’s favor and against Israel.
If Israel does not acknowledge this opinion shift in responding positively, this will be definitely interpreted, as a message to the world that Israel wants war.
And the Western World is better to stay out of that one.