Shifting Middle East sands

Recent rocket attacks on Israel may be signs of interesting realignments among her enemies.

by Norman A. Bailey  |  July 12, 2012  |  ARTICLES

Israel is under attack in the north and in the south. The geopolitics of the region is in a state of chaotic flux. Future developments are unclear but the factors that will determine them are known.

In the south, dozens of missiles have been fired in the general direction of Ashkelon. As usual, most fell harmlessly in the desert, and many of the better-aimed were deflected by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

What is new and interesting is that the attacks have been launched from both Gaza and the Sinai. Hamas has been at pains to deny responsibility for the Gaza-based attacks, a responsibility claimed by Islamic Jihad. At the same time Hamas has declared that if there is war between Israel and Iran it is none of its business and it will stay neutral. Question: Is Hamas using Islamic Jihad as a surrogate, or is it unable/unwilling to exert control over Islamic Jihad's activities and stop the firing? Evidence suggests the latter.

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