Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to expand the military operation in Gaza and to begin preparing for a ground operation. Accordingly, the Israeli Defense Force has called up 40,000 reserves to serve in the West Bank, thus freeing up regular forces to move to the Gaza border.
Israel has tried to counter rocket attacks from Gaza by strikes against dozens of terror targets. However, the rocket attacks have continued. On Tuesday, at least 30 rockets were fired into Israel, including some that targeted Beersheba and Ashdod, according to the Jerusalem Post. You can read the J-Post’s chronology of Tuesday’s events here.
An extended ground operation may therefore be the only way to end Hamas’ attacks against Israel.
Hamas, it appears, wants a fight. Otherwise it would not be continuing it attacks.
Why does it want a fight? Because its reason for being is to wage war against Israel. Its cease-fires with Israel, such as they are, amount only to opportunities to regroup before renewing the struggle.
Yet, the Obama administration insists that Hamas’ unity pact with Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian government should not preclude Israeli “peace” negotiations with Abbas. Indeed, as Scott noted earlier today, President Obama’s column in Haartz instructing Israel on the path to peace touts Abbas as a peace partner without even mentioning Hamas.
Hamas sees the successes of Islamist radicals in Syria and Iraq and wonders “why not us?” Abbas’ pact with Hamas suggests that the old stager may be thinking the same thing.