The threat of a simultaneous war with Iran's proxies – Hezbollah, Syria, and Gaza militants – is a key consideration for Israel as it weighs an attack on Iran. But Iran’s allies may not be as keen about going to war for the ayatollahs as Tehran would like, and the Israelis know it.
Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier was freed today after being held for more than five years in Gaza. Some 477 Palestinian prisoners were released at the same time.
Hamas has yet to officially declare its stance on the Palestinian statehood bid, to be launched at the UN this week. If the bid fails, the Islamist movement could expand its power in the West Bank.
In upcoming visits to the US and Europe, Israel's prime minister is likely to argue against UN recognition of Palestinian statehood now that Hamas is joining Fatah at the helm.
Both Israel and Palestinian Authority officials fear the empowerment of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt might prompt Cairo to ease access to Gaza, and help Hamas consolidate its rule there.
Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls Gaza, is being ignored in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Some think that's a big mistake.
Hamas attacked Israeli settlers again Wednesday, vowing a wave of violence that could shift today's Israeli-Palestinian peace talks from settlements to security.
As Israel eases the Gaza blockade, Hamas is positioned to strengthen its grip on the Gaza Strip. The Gaza tunnel trade that thrived under the blockade provided tax revenues and helped Hamas stay firmly in control.