Crossfire War – Middle East Theatre – Israel Blockades Gaza – Masses Armor

Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Middle East Theatre – Gaza Strip: Tehran – Gaza City – Damascus/Jerusalem; Israel Blockades Gaza Strip in Response to Soldier’s Capture – PM Olmert’s Tone Changes – Israel Armor Concentrations on Gaza Border – Hamas Leadership Threatened

Night Watch: GAZA CITY – In response to the capture of an Israeli soldier, during raids by Hamas on Israeli positions, Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has changed his tone drastically and has ordered a blockade of the Gaza Strip which has now cut off traffic in and out of the Palestinian territory. [DEBKA]

Olmert, in a very tough speech, has stated that Israel will not be subjected to terrorist blackmail by Hamas and warned that Israel’s military response will reach every terrorist, terrorist group, wherever they are however far away. The last part is an obvious threat to attack the terrorists and their leadership in Syria – Iran or in any other Islamic country. Olmert even made a reference to the Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal by saying no office holder who bears responsibility for these terrorist actions will enjoy immunity. Meshaal is based in Damascus.

Israel armor of the Israel Defence Force (IDF) is now concentrated on the border of Gaza and has been attacked by ineffective Qassam missile fire that landed in Sderot and another town. Olmert said the time is running out for a large scale Israeli attack. That could mean major fighting could break out at any moment. Islamic capitals in the region know that Jerusalem’s reach can easily extend into Damascus and if need be into Iran. This is why I have often stated Israel could stage an attack on a smilar scale to her pre-emptive strike in June 1967 that prevented Arab governments, Cairo-Damascus, from attacking first.

This time Tehran has replaced Cairo but they are by no means beyond Israel’s reach nor is Bandar Abbas, on the Persian Gulf, the headquarters of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, who are responsible for the supplying and training of Palestinian militant groups in the use of the more powerful 122mm Grad missile.

These militant raids are being used by Damascus-Tehran to be timed with their new military-axis cooperation just officially announced by Syria-Iran, which they have been planning for more than a year. I have always suspected they wanted Israel to attack first so they and Islamic media can portray Israel as the aggressor. Damascus-Tehran will then play the role of leading the Islamic world’s military response in the name of supporting Palestinian people. They know war with Israel will be extremely popular all over the Islamic world from Morocco to Indonesia, another unifying crisis they can use like Iraq-Afghanistan.

The war could also be used to provide a spritual-emotional release for Islamic groups who are possessed by the liberate the mosque mania, the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem that attracts them like a magnet. It will also give those who answer the call their chance to experience celebrated martyrdom. Islamic spritual leaders will designate Israel to be the holiest front while at the same time the political leadership and those who finance the Jihad, while acknowledging that but admitting, it is the least important economically. There not being much of a market for salt in the Dead Sea.

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.