The real Middle East (peace) process

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images The Hamas rocket apparatus seems to be gaining ground, as the Israeli city of Ashkelon was hit regularly over the weekend by longer-range weapons for the first time ever. Previously, a few rockets reached the city’s outskirts, but now residents find themselves living within a newly defined battle zone. Sderot, a common ...

596178_080303_hamas2.jpg
596178_080303_hamas2.jpg

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

The Hamas rocket apparatus seems to be gaining ground, as the Israeli city of Ashkelon was hit regularly over the weekend by longer-range weapons for the first time ever. Previously, a few rockets reached the city's outskirts, but now residents find themselves living within a newly defined battle zone. Sderot, a common target of rockets, has a population of roughly 20,000. Ashkelon is a larger city with roughly 120,000 people and has infrastructure of strategic value. The city's mayor, Roni Mahatzri, had this to say about the attack:

This is a state of war, I know no other definition for it... If it lasts a week or two, we can handle that, but we have no intention of allowing this to become part of our daily routine."

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

The Hamas rocket apparatus seems to be gaining ground, as the Israeli city of Ashkelon was hit regularly over the weekend by longer-range weapons for the first time ever. Previously, a few rockets reached the city’s outskirts, but now residents find themselves living within a newly defined battle zone. Sderot, a common target of rockets, has a population of roughly 20,000. Ashkelon is a larger city with roughly 120,000 people and has infrastructure of strategic value. The city’s mayor, Roni Mahatzri, had this to say about the attack:

This is a state of war, I know no other definition for it… If it lasts a week or two, we can handle that, but we have no intention of allowing this to become part of our daily routine.”

Israel struck back hard at Gaza beginning Wednesday of last week. Then on Saturday, airstrikes and ground operations aimed at stopping the rockets led to the worst single-day violence in years.

It looks like Hamas is achieving its aim of derailing the Middle East peace process. The peace talks have been suspended until a ceasefire can be negotiated, which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has volunteered to broker. With Hamas hailing Israel’s troop withdrawal from Gaza as a victory, rockets and retribution may finally be taking over from negotiations and diplomatic niceties. Two sides can sit at a table, but when one of them has a murderously out-of-control brother, there’s not much hope for a productive conversation any time soon.

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