Israel and Hamas are already essentially in a state of war, and yet the mainstream media in the United States has been virtually silent about this conflict.  For the past 6 months, Hamas has been conducting violent demonstrations along the border with Israel, and last Friday 130 protesters got shot as the violence escalated wildly out of control.  Over the past several weeks, Israel has been enduring an endless barrage of incendiary devices and rockets, and the Israelis appear to be out of patience at this point.  On Wednesday night, the Israeli military hit eight different Hamas targets in the Gaza strip.  The following comes from Haaretz

The Israeli military struck eight Hamas targets in three different military compounds in the Gaza Strip late Wednesday night following the firing of a rocket into southern Israel.

These strikes were in response to a rocket that had been fired into Israel earlier in the day

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The IDF said that the Iron Dome missile defense systems was activated and attempted to intercept a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, but failed to do so. Media outlets in the Gaza Strip reported that Hamas was evacuating its positions out of fear of an Israeli response.

Sometimes Hamas has taken responsibility for the rocket attacks and incendiary devices that are going into Israel and other times they have not.

But the Israelis are definitely holding Hamas responsible for all the attacks that happen

In an official statement, the IDF blamed Hamas responsible for “everything happening in and out of the Gaza Strip.” Going on to say that Hamas will “bear the consequences for the terrorist acts carried out against the citizens of Israel.”

Unfortunately, previous Israeli military strikes have not stopped the violence coming from Gaza, and these latest airstrikes will not stop the violence either.

Hamas could stop the violence very easily, but instead, they have been the ones fueling it.

Since Hamas will not stop the violence, Israel is essentially left with two options.  Either they can live with rockets and incendiary devices being constantly launched into their territory, or they can invade the Gaza strip.

And according to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has already made up his mind about what should be done…

Israel has reached a breaking point regarding the situation in Gaza, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Monday, and “anything less than the toughest response won’t help anymore. We have exhausted the other options.”

Speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the defense minister said, “Wars are only conducted when there is no choice, and now there is no choice.”

And on a different occasion, he essentially said the same thing

“When we talk about an arrangement and I’m expressing my opinion here – I do not believe in any arrangement with Hamas. It does not work, it has not worked in the past, it will not work in the future,” the defense minister stated.

Israel has “reached a situation where there is no alternative – anything other than the hardest, heaviest blow that we are capable of dealing Hamas in the Gaza Strip – will not help. We are in a state of ‘no choice,’” he added. “We have arrived at that point where we need to arrive at decisions, we have examined all the options.”

Liberman makes it sound like an easy decision, but an Israeli invasion of Gaza would be an extremely bloody war, and it could potentially spark a much broader conflict in the Middle East.

Even though Hamas has been endlessly provoking Israel for months, most of the rest of the world has very strong anti-Israel feelings, and without a doubt, Israel would be cast as “the aggressor” if they invade Gaza.  This could unite the rest of the Islamic world in opposition, and several of Israel’s neighbors could ultimately decide to join the conflict on the side of Hamas.

So what should Israel do?

Egypt has attempted to be a mediator between Israel and Hamas, but negotiations have completely broken down.

And the Hamas charter calls for the complete elimination of the state of Israel, and they have never wavered from that long-term goal.

The Israelis clearly don’t want war with Hamas.  They just want the violence to stop.  Last week, it was hoped that massing tanks along the border may be enough to quell the violence for a while…

As the IDF stationed approximately 60 tanks and armored personnel carriers near the Palestinian border in what may be the largest military deployment since 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, speculations of a war and fear of bloody conflict have crept up.

The stationing of tanks and other armored vehicles on the border with Palestine occurred after an exchange of fire last week, in which a rocket from Gaza hit the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, damaging a house, while another fell into the sea near Tel Aviv.

But of course that didn’t happen.  Instead, 10,000 Palestinians showed up at the border last Friday and things got out of hand very rapidly.

So we shall see what happens this Friday.  Unfortunately, I have a feeling that it will be one of the bloodiest protests yet.

In the end, Israel is going to have a very difficult choice to make.  Either they can choose the status quo and the endless violence that goes with it, or they can choose to invade Gaza.

But if they invade Gaza, that could literally spark World War 3.

It is not going to be an easy choice, and let us hope that they make the right one.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

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