A huge fireball erupts following Israeli air strikes in the east of Gaza City. (Reuters)
The next war in Gaza is coming.
In over five years as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, I found no issue more impervious to solutions than Gaza. We were constantly preventing, managing or responding to crises -- trying to head off terror attacks by Hamas and others, supporting Israel’s right to defend itself, negotiating ceasefires and working to alleviate human suffering.
I also learned that Gaza wars follow a kind of routine. Hamas upgrades its attack capabilities, and tensions build. Both sides prefer to avoid an escalation, but some incident, perhaps unintended, leads Hamas to increase the rate of rockets fired into Israel. Eventually, Israel deems the provocations intolerable, and launches a heavier response, such as when it conducted a targeted strike on Hamas military wing chief Ahmed Jabari at the start of Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. A full-on conflict ensues, with ceasefire negotiations competing with Hamas rocket and tunnel attacks, Israeli airstrikes, and calls from the Israeli public for a ground invasion to “finish the job.”
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WNU Editor: I see the signs of another war also .... probably the end of this year or early 2018. But unlike past conflicts where the U.S. rushed in to defuse and stop the fighting .... I do not see the Trump administration stepping in to stop the next war .... if anything, I think they will tell the Israelis to do what they feel is necessary, and leave it at that.