March 4, 2024

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Threatening gestures by the US have so far prevented escalation

Threatening gestures by the US have so far prevented escalation

Hamas probably hoped to provoke a conflict in the Middle East with its assassination. But the “best time” for a multi-front war against Israel has been missed.

Kurt Belda, Eilat/C Media

A Hezbollah supporter with a picture of slain Iranian general Qassem Soleimani – Shiite militiamen waitBuild: Keystone

Israeli F-15 fighter jets repeatedly bomb the Israeli tourist resort of Eilat on the Red Sea. In Aqaba, Eilat's Jordanian counterpart, Jordanians have provocatively hung a large Palestinian flag – in full view of Israeli holidaymakers.

Regardless of West Jordan's propensity, the Red Sea is increasingly becoming a battle zone in Iran's hybrid war against Israel and the West with the help of its Arab allies. In early December, the Shiite Houthis in Yemen fired a ballistic missile at Eilat, but it was intercepted by the Israelis.

Meanwhile, the Iran-backed Houthis have attempted to disrupt shipping through the Red Sea through piracy, drone and cruise missile attacks. The entrance to the Red Sea between Yemen and Africa is called the “Gate of Tears” but is about 2,000 kilometers from Eilat. Nevertheless, the Houthi attacks fuel fears that the conflict between Hamas and Israel could turn into a conflagration.

Western warships have now shot down several Houthi missiles and sunk at least three Yemeni boats. But that didn't particularly appeal to Shiites in Yemen. Civilians are trying to sell the attacks on the ships to the world as acts of solidarity on behalf of the besieged Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The “Gate of Tears” was an important trade route, especially to Europe. So is it only a matter of time before the US and its allies launch counter-attacks on Houthi airfields and ports?

The killing of the deputy leader of the Palestinian terror organization Hamas has fueled growing fears. Salah al-Arouri was ejected by Israeli missiles south of the Lebanese capital Beirut. No one seriously questions the fact that Hamas intends to respond to this attack with terrorist attacks on Jewish targets. However, in the Gaza Strip it is under severe pressure, if not already significantly weakened.

Small battle on Israel's northern border

A more important question is what will be the reaction of Hezbollah, the Shia terrorist organization, to the killing of al-Aruri. Since the October 7 Hamas massacre, Hezbollah has been engaged in a small war with Israel in southern Lebanon, but neither side has really wanted to escalate it yet.

Like Hamas, Hezbollah is backed by Iran, the only difference being that Tehran's Lebanese puppet organization is much larger and militarily stronger than Hamas. Hezbollah can get supplies from Iran directly through Syria and Iraq.

Hamas may have hoped for October 7 to take advantage of the massacre of civilians in Israel to draw Hezbollah and Iran into a major war against the Jewish state. However, both Iran and Hezbollah said they were informed of Hamas' plans only at the last moment. So you're not directly involved in combat.

Two U.S. aircraft carriers and accompanying ships were immediately dispatched to Iran, but also to help calm uncertain anger in Lebanon and Syria. The Americans have so far responded to attacks by Iranian allies on US troops in northern Syria and Iraq with limited counterattacks.

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From Hamas' perspective, the period immediately after October 7 is the best moment for escalation. Then Israel was shocked and appalled. Bookers need to be gathered first. A multi-front war with Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon would probably overwhelm Israel. But this favorable moment for Hamas is long gone. Seen this way, it would be illogical if Iran and Hezbollah were now interested in provoking a major war against Israel. (bzbasel.ch)

Attack on Israel

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Attack on Israel

On the morning of October 7, 2023, the terrorist group Hamas launched a large-scale attack on numerous targets in Israel. It was the largest massacre of Jews since the end of World War II.

Quelle: Keystone / Abir Sultan

Insights into the largest Hamas tunnel

Video: Twitter

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