Israel must prepare for a regional war. Given the volatile situation of the Middle East, in general, and of Israel’s southern border, in particular, the space between a regional war and the current tense quiet may be no greater than the Israel and Hamas distance between the launching pad of a single Qassam rocket and the place that it lands. If and when such a rocket were to land on a crowd of people in Israel—a school, a hotel, a mall—killing and injuring dozens, Israel would be obligated to retaliate against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, in direct proportion to the severity of the damage caused in Israel.
It is reasonable to assume that this would lead Hamas to fire a large volley of rockets deep into Israeli territory…which would in turn force Israel to conduct an extensive military ground operation in the Gaza Strip, and perhaps even re-occupy it to silence the rockets. Thus, Israel must prepare for a scenario in which it is dragged into a ground operation, which may lead to a limited or comprehensive regional war.
First published by The Foreign Policy Research Institute