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article imageOp-Ed: Western leaders fidget as Lebanon rockets hit Israel

By Larry Clifton     Jul 11, 2014 in Politics
Tel Aviv - The Middle East conflict between Hamas and Israel widened Friday after Lebanese fighters joined the fray firing rockets into Israel.
Hezbollah is suspected of firing the rockets. Like Hamas, Hezbollah members have been preoccupied for decades with a hate for Jews and Israelis at large.
While previous U.S. administrations effectively kept a lid on simmering hatreds festering in the Middle East by engaging in Middle East peace talks, efforts by the Obama administration have fallen apart.
In the political vacuum, Israeli military have responded to the more aggressive rocket attacks with uncanny accuracy, destroying weapons caches, Hamas militant’s homes and other military targets and supplies in Gaza.
Meanwhile, the Iron Dome antimissile defense system employed by Israel has managed to destroy about 90 percent of Hamas missiles targeting densely populated areas like Tel Aviv. Nevertheless, analysts say it is only a matter of time before some slip through the dome.
Israeli military representative Lieut. Col. Peter Lerner says three rockets were fired toward Israel from Lebanon around 6 a.m. on Friday prompting Israeli forces to retaliate by shelling the area from which the rockets were launched.
Meanwhile, relations between Tel Aviv and Washington have reached a new low point, and Hamas, defined as a terrorist group by Washington, doesn’t listen to any leaders in the West.
The normal course of reporting by mainstream Western media on the conflict includes a Hamas and Palestinian body count followed by a fingering of Israel as the main perpetrator of hostilities.
However, with Syria embroiled in civil war, Iraq being divided up between warring factions and Palestine and Lebanon attacking Israel, the media storyline may no longer hold water.
The military capabilities of Israel and those attacking her are considerable. To date, Hamas has launched thousands of primitive rockets into Israel with little ability to hit strategic targets. However, the latest daily barrages of rockets launched by Hamas from Gaza, Palestine are reaching Tel Aviv and beyond.
Historically, Israel has retaliated swiftly but with limited scope against rocket attacks and acts of terrorism targeting Israelis. Now, as the conflict spreads, Western leaders and media normally content to sit on the sidelines and critique Israel are beginning to pay attention.
A tiny strip of democracy in a sea of Middle East countries hostile to it, Israel has developed an advanced array of conventional weaponry. However, should the Hamas conflict widen or turn into a ground war, Israel could choose to defend itself with tactical nuclear weapons.
If that happened, the Middle East becomes a potential flashpoint for a world war that could reach Europe and beyond. Nine countries currently possess nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them, not including Iran. Iran has long been on the brink of developing nuclear weapons and some say the country is much further along than is being reported.
Russia, India, North Korea, Pakistan and China have nukes, while the United States, United Kingdom, France and Israel are the Western equivalents.
Highlighting rising global concerns, Lebanese troops and United Nations “peacekeepers” released a statement saying they were searching for the culprits who fired rockets at Israel from Lebanon. Generally, no one is punished for such aggressions unless Israel punishes them.
An Israeli airstrike Friday took out the home of a high-ranking Islamic Jihad leader. Because terrorists attack Israel and then hide within the ranks of civilians, often stationing them on strategic Gaza roof tops, collateral damage is all but assured when Israel retaliates.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about lebanon rockets, Hamas missiles, Israeli defense forces, middle east powder keg, middle east peace talks
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