World View: Israel Considers Ground Invasion in Gaza

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Sunni / Shia violence escalates in Sidon in southern Lebanon
  • Netanyahu: Israel is considering a new ground invasion of Gaza
  • Israel fires a guided missile into Syria as a warning
  • Palestinian leader Abbas tells Obama he'll go ahead with U.N. bid
  • Civilian and military suicide rates surge in United States
  • Greece passes budget, waits nervously for bailout approval

Sunni / Shia violence escalates in Sidon in southern Lebanon

Hizbollah banners on the streets of Sidon (Daily Star)
Hizbollah banners on the streets of Sidon (Daily Star)

A long-running disagreement about promotional banners from the terrorist group Hizbollah broke into violence in Sidon in southern Lebanon on Sunday. A hardline Sunni Salafi cleric, Ahmad al-Assir, has been demanding that the Iranian-linked Shia terrorist group Hizbollah be required to remove a large number of promotional signs and banners cluttering the town. On Friday, al-Assir gave a 48-hour deadline to remove all the pictures and banners in Sidon that "contain slogans supportive of Hizbollah and its allies who back the Syrian-Iranian scheme." A gunfight occurred between al-Assir supporters and Hizbollah supporters, leaving at least four people killed, including al-Assir's bodyguard, and seven others wounded. Al-Assir claims that his dispute is with Iran and Hizbollah, not with all Shias. Lebanon's army has been sent in to restore order. Naharnet (Beirut) and Al-Jazeera and Daily Star (Beirut)

Netanyahu: Israel is considering a new ground invasion of Gaza

Violence has escalated sharply between Israel and Gaza in the last 24 hours, with over 100 rockets and mortar shells from Gaza striking southern Lebanon, wounding three people. It's believed that the terror group Islamic Jihad launched the attacks. Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to be preparing international public opinion for an Israeli military operation into Gaza, perhaps similar to Operation Cast Lead, Israel's 2008 invasion of Gaza. According to defense minister Ehud Barak

"If we are forced to go back into Gaza in order to deal Hamas a [serious] blow and restore security for all of Israel’s citizens, then we will not hesitate to do so.

It is Hamas that will pay the price; a price that will be painful."

There are reports that Egyptian intelligence officials have rushed into the situation to broker an end to the violence, and there are mixed reports about whether Islamic Jihad even wants the violence to end. Jerusalem Post and YNet (Tel Aviv)

Israel fires a guided missile into Syria as a warning

Until Sunday, Israel has not fired at Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur war. But two Syrian shells landed in the Golan Heights during the last few days, and so Israel fired a guided missile into Syria as a warning shot. "We don't believe it caused injuries or damages," according to an Israeli army spokesman. At the same time, Israel sent a warning message to the United Nations, saying that any firing into Israel will result "in a real response." According to an Israeli official,

"We will not accept any firing into our territory. This was a signal to the Syrians, that we will not be so forgiving of everything that lands in a territory."

Israel says that it doesn't want to be dragged any further into the Syrian conflict. Jerusalem Post

Palestinian leader Abbas tells Obama he'll go ahead with U.N. bid

U.S. President Barack Obama made a personal call on Sunday to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas told Obama that, despite Obama's objections, he would go ahead with the bid to get United Nations General Assembly recognition of the state of Palestine. The vote is expected to be taken later this month, and the resolution is expected to pass. AP and Reuters

Civilian and military suicide rates surge in United States


A study conducted by University of Cambridge (UK) researchers has found that the suicide rate in America for both civilians and the military has surged significantly since the financial crisis began in 2007. The suicide rate began increasing gradually since 1999, the beginning year of the study, but really shot up starting in 2007, when the financial crisis began. It was found that a 1 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate was associated with a 1% increase in the suicide rate, and that unemployment could account for about a quarter of the excess suicides, the rest being attributed to the economy in general. In the military, the most common reason for hospitalization of Army personnel is now admission for some type of psychiatric illness, including PTSD, depression, other anxiety disorders, or substance abuse. Approximately 15% of US infantry personnel experience some sort of PTSD symptoms post deployment. Emaxhealth and The Lancet (PDF)

Greece passes budget, waits nervously for bailout approval

Greece's parliament passed a harsh budget late Sunday night, raising the retirement age from 65 to 67, cutting wages for soldiers and public officials by 500 euros per month, and cutting pensions by 150 euros per month. Even so, it won't be enough. Greece's economy has been contracting for six years in a row, and a 4 1/2% contraction is expected next year. Greece has passed its budget at the last minute, which may nor may not leave enough time for European leaders to reach a judgment to give Greece its next bailout payment in time to avoid bankruptcy on Wednesday. Kathimerini

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