DANGEROUS EVENTS unfolding between Israel, Hamas and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The assassination of Ahmed Said Khalil al-Jabari in a missile strike has set the situation on fire. It also set the internet aflame, with YouTube pulling the 10-second film of the vehicle explosion, while tweets on the subject landed in rapid fire succession, reported here.
As was reported on Foreign policy, al-Jabari’s killing was “a widespread campaign” to “protect Israeli civilians and to cripple the terrorist infrastructure,” according to Israeli Defense Force on Twitter. More from their article:
It is impossible to know how the conflict will unfold in the days ahead, but what is clear is that the outbreak of violence is the result of a swirl of events that are reshaping power structures within Hamas and its relationships with regional forces, including with Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
During most of the period since Cast Lead, the Hamas rulers in Gaza have refrained from attacks against Israel and tried to prevent other militant groups from launching attacks as well. But as 2012 has progressed, that policy has changed — largely due to internal transformations within the group itself.
The internal dynamic of Hamas has traditionally been that leaders in its Politburo, which is based almost entirely in neighboring Arab countries, were more militant than their compatriots inside Gaza. It was the leaders in exile who maintained close relations with the radical regimes in Iran and Syria, while the Hamas government in Gaza was more restrained because it had more to lose from violence with Israel.
That calculation has been inverted in recent months as Hamas’s foreign alliances have undergone a dramatic transformation and its domestic wing has made a bold attempt to assert its primacy.
[...] Make no mistake: Jaabari’s assassination is a major blow to Hamas’s military wing, which lost its long-standing leader. And even if this is the beginning of a “reformatting” of Gaza, Israel could once again end up winning the battle but losing the war: If it is not careful, developments on the Gaza battlefield could end up strengthening rather than weakening Hamas. Worse still, it could empower extreme, new Palestinian jihadist organizations that have begun to crop up in Gaza. The potential for miscalculation on all sides — bringing another round of mayhem that only makes matters worse for everyone — is grave.
It’s not just that there is a potential for miscalculation. It’s that miscalculations reign in this region.