Hamas Plans Its Next Attack on Israel

Having rejected the UN plan for reconstructing Gaza, Hamas is now looking for someone to punish for its own decision. Attacking the Palestinian Authority and the ruling Fatah party is tempting, but Israel’s military presence in the West Bank, and Palestinian opinion there, rule it out. That leaves one choice: starting another war with Israel. Khaled Abu Toameh writes:

Hamas is now talking about an imminent “explosion” against Israel if the promises to rebuild Gaza are not fulfilled. Some Hamas representatives even have the audacity to hold Israel fully responsible for hindering the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Hamas’s threats against Israel should be taken seriously, especially in light of reports that the movement is continuing to prepare for another war. Hamas not only continues to dig tunnels under the border with Israel; it has also been test-firing rockets into the Mediterranean Sea.

Hamas does not have much left to lose in another military confrontation with Israel. The killing of a few hundred more Palestinians in Gaza will allow it to shift attention from its failure to rebuild to blaming Israel for “waging another war” on the Palestinians. Hamas is also hoping that another war will further increase anti-Israel sentiment around the world and earn the Palestinians even more sympathy.

 

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Palestinian Authority, West Bank

 

If Iran Goes Nuclear, the U.S. Will Be Forced Out of the Middle East

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in May that Iran has, or is close to having, enough highly enriched uranium to build multiple atomic bombs, while, according to other sources, it is taking steps toward acquiring the technology to assemble such weapons. Considering the effects on Israel, the Middle East, and American foreign policy of a nuclear-armed Iran, Eli Diamond writes:

The basic picture is that the Middle East would become inhospitable to the U.S. and its allies when Iran goes nuclear. Israel would find itself isolated, with fewer options for deterring Iran or confronting its proxies. The Saudis and Emiratis would be forced into uncomfortable compromises.

Any course reversal has to start by recognizing that the United States has entered the early stages of a global conflict in which the Middle East is set to be a main attraction, not a sideshow.

Directly or not, the U.S. is engaged in this conflict and has a significant stake in its outcome. In Europe, American and Western arms are the only things standing between Ukraine and its defeat at the hands of Russia. In the Middle East, American arms remain indispensable to Israel’s survival as it wages a defensive, multifront war against Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hizballah. In the Indo-Pacific, China has embarked on the greatest military buildup since World War II, its eyes set on Taiwan but ultimately U.S. primacy.

While Iran is the smallest of these three powers, China and Russia rely on it greatly for oil and weapons, respectively. Both rely on it as a tool to degrade America’s position in the region. Constraining Iran and preventing its nuclear breakout would keep waterways open for Western shipping and undermine a key node in the supply chain for China and Russia.

Diamond offers a series of concrete suggestions for how the U.S. could push back hard against Iran, among them expanding the Abraham Accords into a military and diplomatic alliance that would include Saudi Arabia. But such a plan depends on Washington recognizing that its interests in Eastern Europe, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East are all connected.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy