The situation is admittedly complicated, and there's so much going on — here's a quick recap of the biggest and newest stories out of the region.
This morning, Israeli tanks and bulldozers with helicopters behind, crossed into Gaza after the Jewish state vowed retribution against Hamas for the dramatic ramp up of violence earlier this week.
Yesterday saw a Palestinian raid on the only fuel transfer point into Gaza that caused Israel to cut off fuel supplies for the 1.4-million Gaza citizens. What led Palestinians to attack the only source of fuel they have? A spokesman for Islamic Jihad said, “This fuel (from Israel) is dipped in humiliation. If their fuel means humiliation for us, we don’t want it.” The humiliation he is referring to is the result an Israeli-enforced blockade of Gaza in which Gazans must wait for hours for supplies controlled by Israel.
But this might just be a taste of tense events to come. To see why,
. These clashes could be just the beginning. Syria and Iran are apparently supplying Hamas with weapons including antitank missiles, rockets with longer reach capability to strike at Israel population centers as well as training. Hamas says this is all in the name of self-defense in case Israel decides to invade. Israel on the other hand, is certain Hamas is planning an all-out assault.
Since President Bush classifies the Hamas government as a terrorist organization, the United States will not intervene to calm the situation. That won’t stop former President Jimmy Carter from meeting with Khaled Meshal, the head of Hamas next week, in an attempt to prevent another regional war from breaking out as it did in 2006.
Incredibly, the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said the events of the week would not disrupt peace talks, saying, "We decided that we will continue to talk and will not let terrorists have a veto voice on the talks with the pragmatic forces." The two sides hope to reach a final peace deal by the end of the year.
Do you think this is possible? What will have to happen to allow peace to reign?