Crossfire War: Palestinian Militant Units Operate Beyond Range of Israel Artille

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Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Middle East Theatre: Gaza Strip/Israel; Palestinian Militant Units Operate from Six Bases Beyond Range of Israel Artillery – Qassam Missile Offensive Increases to Daily Barrage

Night Watch: GAZA – The six bases established by Palestinian militant groups are in population centers and are currently beyond the range of Israel artillery. Debka states that military sources have informed them that this is the beginning of deteriorating security in the Gaza Strip as every Palestinian militant unit, except Hamas, is now fully engaged in daily Qassam missile barrages. [Debka]

The missiles are fired in multi-salvos and recently one of them damaged an Ashkelon-Eliat pipeline installation. That forced Israel to target the new bases in those population centers used by the militant units: Jihad Islami, Popular Resistance Committees, Abu Rish Brigades, Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades and the Return Brigades. The last unit is being trained to defend the Gaza Strip against an Israeli attack, which I assume they, along with Tehran and other Islamic capitals know is coming. The bases have been established south of the areas Israel withdrew from last year. Other areas being attacked are in the Negev and not far from the Egyptian border.

Tehran intends these attacks to force Israel to respond in such a huge way that not only can Iran and Islamic media portray Israel as the aggressor but it could also cause Washington to accuse Israel of blowing up the road map to peace. Even though the “road map” was nothing more than an illusion it provided the publicity the Bush Administration wanted to use to praise itself and to pretend they were accomplishing something. It was really nothing more than a cover for Washington to use to attempt to manipulate the region.

When this undeclared war between Israel and Palestinian groups becomes full scale, perhaps before this month is over, and if Washington becomes more critical of Israel as a result, it could end military cooperation between the U. S. and Israel, much to the satisfaction of Tehran.

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.