Israel finally struck back yesterday after having 120 rockets fired at it since Saturday and over 700 this year. The Obama administration is siding with Israel but the Muslim Brotherhood-run Egypt is siding with Hamas, withdrawing their ambassador. U.S.-based Islamists and their non-Muslim allies can be counted on to pressure the administration to choose Egypt over Israel. If Egypt takes action, the administration will have to choose its relationship with Israel or its relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. There is no middle ground to straddle.
The Israeli Defense Forces struck 100 terrorist targets and the Iron Dome missile defense system took out 28 rockets before they landed in Israel. The campaign began with a precision strike on a car carrying Hamas military chief Ahmad Jabari, the mastermind of the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Video of the strike shows it was designed to minimize civilian casualties. The IDF tweeted, “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leader, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.” Israel is also threatening a ground operation into the Gaza Strip.
Hamas says the initial strike “opened the gates of hell” and it will fight back. With about 35,000 fighters, that’s no idle threat. Senior Hamas leaders say they are considering firing long-range rockets at Rishon LeZion, a city 7 miles from Tel Aviv. They are also contemplating carrying out suicide bombings and assassinations and are in talks with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and other Gaza-based terrorists like the Popular Resistance Committees and Palestinian Islamic Jihad about their response. The involvement of the latter is significant because its alliance with Iran remains solid. The relationship between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran has been strained because they are on opposite sides in Syria.
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