Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Emir of Qatar visits Gaza

The visit of the Emir of Qatar to the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip, the first visit of a Head of State in 5 years of Hamas control, is a minor event but a major indicator.  It represents a nail in the coffin of the Iranian controlled Shia axis in Gaza and a reversion by Hamas, which is really the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, back into the Sunni fold.  The Emir brought with him reportedly some m$250 in investment money and promised more.  What he is doing is representing the Sunni axis in weaning Hamas away from the Shia enemy.  In the future you can expect greater cooperation and coordination between Hamas, the MB-led Egyptian Government of Mohammed Morsi and other Sunni countries, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. 
But, this move leaves Pres. Abbas and the Palestine Authority out on a  limb.  Not only did Abbas oppose this visit, as did Israel, but the Emir of Qatar ignored completely the so-called moderate force of Fatah in the PA.  This tends to indicate that for all his so-called being the sole representative of the Palestinian people, and his drive for some kind of recognition at the UN, the mainstream Sunni Arab world is putting their money on the Hamas MB horse.  This implies greater opposition to Israel and less concern for international legalities.
Perhaps that is why, as if to celebrate this visit and its implications of greater Sunni support, on Weds the terrorist organizations in Gaza fired ca. 80 missiles and mortars over the border into Israel.  Noone was killed but two foreign workers were badly injured and several houses were hit while their occupants were in shelters.  If Hamas feels empowered, its natural tendency is to strike out at Israel.  Today Israel struck back and hit several missile firing teams, and killed two terrorists and injured some others. The Min. of Defense Ehud Barak met with the Commander-in-Chief of the IDF Benny Gantz and they issed a statement that Israel is prepared to mount a ground operation in Gaza if the shelling does not stop.  Israel is ready and primed to react. 
Coincidentally on the same day Israel and the US started their largest joint military exercise that was delayed for some months. This exercise is intended to test and improve the interface between Israel's missile batteries and the US world-wide anti-missile detection capability.  No doubt its timing is good for both Pres. Obama and PM Netanyahu in their bids to be re-elected.  However, a ground attack against Gaza might be problematic in the context of the elections and Hamas might be taking a chance that it can hit Israel with relative impunity at this time.  On the other hand the situation vis-a-vis Gaza is inherently unstable and at some time an Israeli response seems inevitable.


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