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Israel Expands The Assault December 29, 2008

Posted by neoavatara in Politics, World Politics.
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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,473448,00.html

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/12/28/gaza.israel.strikes/index.html

Israel appears ready to start a full stage assault on Gaza.  Troops are amassing on the border, and air strikes continue.   The Israelis are significantly increasing their range of targets, now including sites including the Islamic University.  It appears that Israel is ready for a full scale ground assault against Hamas.  This is quite surprising, considering their lack of success in Lebanon in 2006 in a similar operation against Hezbollah.  In that war, most pundits agree that Israel may have tactically one, but for all practical purposes lost.

It is difficult to see the Israeli end game.  Hamas is quite entrenched in Gaza, and getting rid of them will take a long ground operation, something that the Israelis don’t appear ready to do.  And eliminate the threat  from rockets is virtually impossible.  Politically,weakening Hamas may be a goal to give Fatah more leverage, but this attack may actually be strengthening Hamas in the Arab World.

On a side note, there has been remarkable agreement from power players in the United States.  The Bush administration, the future Obama administration, as well as Congressional Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi have all called on Hamas to stop the rocket attacks, and have been more reticent to denounce Israel.  This is especially surprising from the Obama side; Hamas and others had hoped to have more inroads with an Obama administration.  Atleast in the short term, that does not appear to be the case.

ADDENDUM:  The international community has been pushing for a cease fire, but Israel has ruled out any cessation of hostilities until Hamas agrees to stop firing rockets.

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