Israel and Hamas near a Spring war

Israeli airborne missile kills three senior Hamas gunmen

DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 2, 2011, 10:32 AM (GMT+02:00)

After nearly two months of rising tension, Israel and Hamas have taken a step towards a full-blown military confrontation: Before dawn Saturday, April 2, an Israeli air strike killed three senior Hamas Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades gunmen in the Gaza Strip in an operation described by an Israeli army spokesman as pre-empting a major Palestinian terror-cum-kidnap campaign scheduled for Passover. A fourth Palestinian was seriously injured by the airborne missile which struck their car between Khan Younes and Deir el Balakh.

The Hamas Brigades warned Israel its "dangerous escalation" would have "consequences."

It is Elaraby’s ambition to transfer Hamas’s political center headed by Khaled Meshaal from Damascus to Cairo, lift the Egyptian embargo against Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip for the free movement of people and goods and transform the enclave into Egypt’s launching pad for an anti-Israeli policy harking back to the hostility predating the epic peace relations President Anwar Sadat forged with Israel in 1979.

The new rulers are also distancing themselves from the close alliance the deposed Hosni Mubarak maintained with Saudi Arabia. While Riyadh fights Iranian-backed insurgents in Bahrain and slams the door on further encroachments in the Arab world, Cairo is opening it wide to give the Islamic Republic a foothold both in Cairo and in Gaza. Hamas is encouraged to spread its sphere of aggression from the half million Israeli civilians within missile range to far broader regions.


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