A rocket launched by Hamas killed three Israelis on Thursday in an area north of the Gaza Strip. Those were the first killings by the Palestinians in a recent showdown with Israel that has killed 13 Palestinians. Military action lurched closer and closer to an all out war with a possible invasion by Israeli troops on the horizon.
Targets were bombed by Israeli warplanes near Gaza city, were the ground and tall buildings were shaking. Smoke plumes and clouds of dust furled into the afternoon sky laced with the many vapor trails of the rockets being launched.
Mohamed Mursi, the President of Egypt said in a national address on television that the attacks by Israel on the Gaza Strip are unacceptable and would cause great instability throughout the region.
Mursi, in a conversation on the telephone with President Obama of the U.S. discussed how to reach calm and put an end to the aggression.
Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist Organization claimed they fired an Iranian made one-ton rocket at the city of Tel Aviv in what would amount to a huge escalation, but there had been no reports of any impact in the metropolis. The sworn enemy of Israel, Iran, which arms and supports Hamas, quickly condemned the Israeli offensive as just organized terrorism.
Israel however, was much more concerned with Egypt’s mood, who’s new Islamist led government brokered a Tuesday truce between both sides only to see that shattered one day later when a top military commander of Hamas was assassinated by Israel.
Hamas is one offshoot of Egypt’s ruling party the Muslim Brotherhood, the most powerful Arab neighbor of Israel and a critical partner during the peace treaty of 1979 that stands as a fragile barrier between regional chaos and stability.