Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Gaza Violence – Courtesy Of Iran

The sudden, massive barrage of potentially deadly rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip last week is a transparent attempt by Iran to utilize its Gaza proxies to advance its own aims inside Syria.

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The attacks from Gaza were reportedly carried out in large part by the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, which could not possibly have launched a rocket campaign of that magnitude against the Jewish state without a green light from its controllers in Tehran. Hamas took joint responsibility for the attacks, but according to numerous sources, Gaza’s Islamist rulers were not the ringleaders.

Islamic Jihad initially claimed the barrage was “revenge” for the IDF’s elimination of three of its terrorists who were killed while attempting a border attack earlier this week. Putting aside the distorted logic of “revenge” for an attack that Islamic Jihad itself initiated, the Iran-backed terrorist group’s excuse simply doesn’t fly. The sheer volume of the projectile attacks – the largest volley since the 2014 Israel-Gaza War – was too great for a tit-for-tat “revenge” exchange. The purpose was pure escalation.

There can be little doubt that the attacks were directed by Iran, which stands to gain the most from the attacks. It is in the strategic interests of Hamas to avoid a larger confrontation with the IDF. Hamas, which has reportedly been attempting for months to secure a long-term ceasefire, cannot afford another costly war with Israel.

Already the terrorist organization is teetering on the brink after its border riots failed to achieve much, and there is widespread and growing anger in Gaza over the territory’s all but collapsed economy. However, since Hamas is cash-strapped and needs Iranian patronage, it wouldn’t dare oppose Iran’s short-term designs to heat up Israel’s southern border.

Iran has been humiliated and strategically devastated by Israel’s repeated strikes against Iran-run military bases in Syria, and has been feeling the pressure. Israel and Russia are finalizing a deal that would see Iran-backed forces removed from the area of Israel’s border with Syria. If the deal is finalized, Iran would lose its foothold along the border. Iran could be using the Gaza card as a pressure point to secure more from the negotiations.

Iran has been suffering on other fronts. One report claims that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has restricted the Iranian military from using the regime’s air force hangers for fear of further Israeli strikes. Regardless of the accuracy of that report, the Iranians are clearly desperate to secure their remaining positions in Syria following scores of major Israeli bombing raids.

Iran doesn’t want more Israeli bombardments in Syria, so it must be careful not to provoke another fierce response. Instead, Iran seems to be acting to divert Israel’s attention to the Gaza Strip. It is likely heating up the southern border, perhaps even briefly, as both retaliation and a signal to Israel that Iranian proxies can be turned on at will. For now.

 

Democrats Were Invited To Embassy Opening;
They Just Weren’t Interested

In a letter obtained by Breitbart News, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) confirmed an “extensive outreach campaign to both Democrats and Republicans” when his office put together the official House delegation that attended the U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem.

Despite efforts to create a bipartisan delegation to attend the Jerusalem embassy opening, not a single currently serving Democratic lawmaker joined the trip to Israel for the inauguration.

This was the second confirmation from Wilson that his office reached out to Democrats to attend the Jerusalem embassy opening.

Last week, Wilson told this reporter in an interview that he personally called several Democratic Congressmen himself and says he was told by each one that they could not attend.

Wilson’s comments followed a letter from Democratic members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee addressed to Friedman complaining that they received “no invitation from the White House to participate in the official delegation to visit Jerusalem for this moment of historic occasion.”

The Democrats were in turn responding to an interview with the Axios website in which Friedman said he “was very concerned that no Democrats showed up.”

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