A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
June 19, 2012- Hamas Fires on Israel, Chaos in Egypt, Iranian Nuclear Talks Fail
SIt has been a very busy news day with many simultaneous events taking place that will have a profound and an ongoing impact on Israel. The first event began yesterday on the Egyptian border where Israel is building a fence. A terrorist group attacked Israeli workers building the fence and killed one. In response one of the terrorists was killed by Israeli troops. The attack was likely the work of Al Qaeda, who no doubt received help from the Sinai Bedouin. They are not happy to see Israel seal the border, since they will lose out on a lucrative smuggling trade. Last night Israel killed a Palestinian sniper squad and a group on the Gaza border that was planting a bomb. The second group included a member of Hamas, so today Hamas responded by firing more then 40 missiles at the Western Negev. They aimed their missiles primarily at Israeli military targets. How and whether Israel responds will determine where this round goes from here.
The events in Egypt are making the situation ever more dangerous and have the potential to spin out of control. It is not clear who won the election for President due to the fact that both sides are claiming victory. There is a sense that the military, which has already effectively dismissed the parliament, will make sure their candidate wins. Then what happens? Will Egypt descent into chaos? Will the liberals sit on the sidelines, fearing the Brotherhood more than the military? Will the generals let the Brotherhood win? The next few days will be critical. Tonight's premature rumors reporting Mubarak's demise did manage the quiet the demonstrators on the street. Although new sources are currently stating that he is in a coma.
Meanwhile in Moscow today talks between Iran and the West failed. From Israel's perspective this outcome was preferable to an outcome that was less clear, or another agreement to talk that will not lead anywhere. Of course a real agreement would have been better, but that was really never in the cards. There is one last chance that Iran could come back to the negotiating table after the July sanctions begin to take effect. If not I fear a military solution will be the only option to stop the program. The question is: who will take that action?