Rockets are flying again in southern Israel. A barrage of rockets target Israel from Gaza over the last few days. On Saturday more than 50 rockets bombed southern Israel. Two Israelis were injured and there was building damage. Monday a grad rocket exploded in the port city of Ashkelon in an industrial area sending several people to the hospital. These are deadly weapons reining down on Israelis. Hamas even claimed responsibility for some of them rather than letting other extremist groups be their front.
Imagine if rockets were launched against San Diego from Tijuana. What would be the response of our country?
According to some analysts this round of escalating rocket fire is an attempt by Hamas to respond to inner Palestinian politics. Fatah the major faction which controls the West Bank let by Mahmoud Abbas has called for reconciliation and national unity. Hamas wants to flex its muscles so that they maintain their grip on power in any unity government. There are increasing signs that Palestine will declare independence in September. Abbas and Fatah need to reign in Hamas and find a unified voice. Hamas wants to maintain its power and so instead it uses Israel to deflect increasing attention as people are losing patience with them in the Gaza Strip.
The revolutions of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain and now protests in Syria have Hamas running scared so they bomb Israel instead.
Let’s hope the Palestinian people see soon that Hamas can’t govern and hasn’t delivered on any of its promises. The only way to peace in Israel/Palestine is to sit down together. Israel is a reality that isn’t going away. Hamas’ rhetoric of pushing Israel into the sea is deadly rhetoric. The people of Palestine deserve better.
And Israel should have peace and security. But as long as Hamas controls Gaza there is no security and no peace.
The equation in the Middle East is changing even as we speak.