World View: Violence Escalates in Turkey, Syria, Gaza, Israel

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • As rockets pour in from Gaza, Israel debates launching a new war
  • A new Gaza war would be far more dangerous than the 2008 war
  • Israel fires tank shells, makes 'direct hits' on targets in Syria
  • Nato pledges to defend Turkey against attacks from Syria
  • Far-right extremism growing in Germany and Greece
  • Sharp disagreements between EU and IMF delay Greece's bailout payment

As rockets pour in from Gaza, Israel debates launching a new war

Trails of smoke are seen after the launch of rockets from the northern Gaza strip towards Israel on Sunday. (Reuters)
Trails of smoke are seen after the launch of rockets from the northern Gaza strip towards Israel on Sunday. (Reuters)

Theoretically, there's a cease fire in effect between Israel and Gaza, since it was brokered by Egyptian intelligence officials on Sunday. But the Iran-linked Gaza terror group Islamic Jihad continued to fire rockets into Israel on Monday, damaging homes but producing no new casualties. Israel retaliated with air strikes. Some 150 rockets have been fired from Gaza into southern Israel since Saturday. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Monday with some 100 foreign envoys, and said,

"I don’t know of any of your governments who could accept such a thing. I don’t know of any of the citizens of your cities who could find that acceptable and something that could proceed on a normal basis. I think the whole world understands that this is not acceptable.

So we’re going to fight for the rights of our people to defend themselves. We’ll take whatever action is necessary to put a stop to this."

Israel's foreign missions reportedly were instructed to tell their host governments that Israel has lost patience with the situation on the Gaza border and could take some action. Jewish Telegraphic Association

A new Gaza war would be far more dangerous than the 2008 war

Hamas was caught by surprise by Operation Cast Lead, Israel's 2008 ground invasion of Gaza. This time, Hamas will be far better prepared, with bomb-laden tunnels, booby-trapped buildings, snipers and underground command centers. At the same time, Hamas now has long-range rockets, and could attack Tel Aviv, something that would cause the violence to spiral up even farther. Jerusalem Post

Israel fires tank shells, makes 'direct hits' on targets in Syria

For the second day in a row, Israel fired into Syria in response to Syrian mortar shells landing in the Golan Heights. On Sunday, it was just a warning shot. On Monday, a Syrian mortar shell landed near an Israeli army post in Golan, causing no damage or injuries. According to a military statement:

"In response, IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers fired tank shells towards the source of the fire, confirming direct hits. Syrian mobile artillery was directly hit.

[Further shooting from Syria} "will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity."

A spokesman for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that he was "deeply concerned by the potential for escalation." AFP

Nato pledges to defend Turkey against attacks from Syria

Turkey has been striking Syria's military repeatedly for over a month, ever since shells from Syria's army struck a Turkish village, killing two women and three children. On Monday, a Syrian fighter jet bombed a rebel-held area near the Turkish border, killing at least six people, while a rocket-propelled grenade landed inside Turkey. The escalating violence near Turkey has sent a surge of Syrian refugees across the border. There are now about 120,000 Syria refugees in Turkish refugee camps, with 70,000 more living in Turkey outside the camps.

As the situation escalates, Nato announced on Monday that it will defend Turkey against attacks from Syria if necessary. Nato's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday:

"NATO as an organization will do what it takes to protect and defend Turkey, our ally. We have all plans in place to make sure that we can protect and defend Turkey and hopefully that way also deter so that attacks on Turkey will not take place."

Al-Jazeera and Reuters

Far-right extremism growing in Germany and Greece

Far-right attitudes are growing in Germany, and not just on the fringes. (The phrase "far right" has different meanings in Europe and America.) Nationwide surveys show that right-wing extremist attitudes have grown from 8.2% to 9% in a year, with xenophobic preferences held by 25.1% of the population. In Greece, the growth of extreme right-wing attitudes has been much more extreme, and is resulting in an increasing level and severity of racist violence. What started as simple fist beatings has now escalated to assaults with metal bars, bats and knives, with attacks directed at dark-skinned migrants. At the same time, the far-right anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party has surged in popularity and in national elections. Spiegel and AP

Sharp disagreements between EU and IMF delay Greece's bailout payment

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union are openly disagreeing on the demands to be placed on Greece in return for new bailout payments. In particular, the EU wants to give Greece two additional years to meet its austerity commitments, while the IMF refuses. The additional two years will mean that Greece will need an additional 32.6 billion euros bailout on top of the 148 billion euros it has already received, and with Greece's economy continuing to spiral downward on a daily basis, there's little doubt that even that won't be enough. The situation has gotten so bad that even mainstream media analysts are now saying that the problem with Greece is insoluble, so you no longer have to come to web sites like mine to get that particular peace of information. Greece is set to go bankrupt on Friday, when it has to meet 5 billion euros in debt payments. However, Germany's parliament will have to vote on new bailout terms. There is little enthusiasm to speed up the bailout decision-making process, since the fault is really with Greece, which didn't pass a 2013 budget until late Sunday evening (actually Monday morning). So, unless the new bailout payment can be awarded very quickly, some way will have to be found to give Greece a few billion euros cash by Friday. Irish Examiner


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