A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
June 5, 2008 Is Military Action Likely In Gaza Now
One Israeli was killed and three wounded in a mortar attack on Kibbutz Nir Oz located near the Gaza border.There have been various reports in the last few hours that Israel's long anticipated attack on Gaza is imminent. The ceasefire negotiated by the Egyptians seems more and more remote, both due to the actions of Hamas, and the reluctance of the Israeli government to accept it. Hamas' repeated attacks on the crossing in and out of the Strip have made the acceptance of the agreement more difficult. In addition, there may be no clear majority in the cabinet for such an agreement. Ministers Ramon and Shetreet have been particularly opposed to an agreement. Their belief is that any agreement reached would be defacto recognition of Hamas, and would strengthen Hamas. Reports indicate that Defense Minister Barak supports the ceasefire; maybe he hopes the Israeli defensive missile system will be ready when the ceasefire ends.
How all this is tied to the Olmert's political and legal difficulties is hard to determine. Labor and Kadima seem to be playing a game of chicken. Labor is demanding that Kadima hold new primaries to replace Olmert otherwise it will withdraw from the coalition. Olmert has used Kadima pride in not being pushed around by Labor to convince the ministers in the meantime to postpone holding primaries until the cross/examination of Talansky, which Olmert's lawyers held off doing for 30 days. Can Israel go to war in Gaza in the midst of this?
Barak Obama gave an interesting interview today to CNN. In it he said that he was opposed to dividing Jerusalem. He claimed that it was impractical to do so. It should remain the "undivided capital of Israel" according to Obama.