A very interesting dynamic is occurring in the undercurrent of the Gaza conflict. For most Americans it is simply an ongoing war between Israel and a Palestinian terrorist group. However, a proxy war has been long developing between, Egypt/Saudi Arabia and Iran/Syria, with the Palestinian and Israeli people caught in the middle.
Iran is exerting excessive force on Hamas to turn down any advances for an Egyptian brokered cease-fire with Israel. According to the Jerusalem Post, that Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, and Said Jalili of the Iranian Intelligence Service met with Hamas representatives in Dasmascus. Forewarning the Hamas envoys, that if they accepted any terms for a cessation of hostilities with Israel, Iran would forgo any funding and weapon supplies for their military operations against the Jews.
Iran has various interests in de-stabilizing the region by waging a proxy war against the United States and Israel, as noted by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) . They have been making an increasing effort to trigger a war between Israel and Hamas in order to draw world attention away from their fledgling nuclear program. Another reason is Tehran’s attempt to become the regions sole power broker, to the disadvantage of Arab countries in the region.
Syria, because of its isolation in the area, has gravitated towards assisting Iran in its venture. This seclusion has been brought on by Damascus’s refusal to end funding and training for terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hizbollah. Their furthering of the Iranian agenda has strengthened ties between the two countries and their regional interests.
This alliance between Iran and Syria has created a major fracture between the somewhat pro-Western Arab countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabi. Syria and Iran, on numerous occasions, have been accused, by the more moderate Arab countries, of interfering in the internal workings of areas such as Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq. While Damascus and Tehran have accused Saudi Arabia of undermining resistance efforts by making conciliatory political moves with the West. Such as the November 2008 Interfaith Dialogue Conference in New York and Saudi attempts at normalizing relations with Tel Aviv.
Egypt entered into conflict with Hams over opening its borders to Palestinian pilgrims traveling to Mecca. Hamas had stopped the Palestinian travelers from reaching the Egyptian border and brought on criticism from Cairo. Egypt then stated that Hamas was doing more harm to the people of the Palestinian territories than Israel. They also layed blame on Syria and Iran for blocking peace in the region and promoting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for their own gains. Syria and Iran both responded to this claim by calling for regime change in both Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Although, there are many calls for a sustained cease fire between Hamas and Tel Aviv, because of Iranian and Syrian interference, this may prove to be an impossibility. Furthermore, ending hostilities between them might have greater and more disastrous ramifications, in the long run. By destroying Hamas, Israel would have eliminated one of Iran and Syria’s proxy trouble makers. This would further isolate Syria and Hizbollah consolidating their sphere of influence, as well as Iran, to a very limited area.
While diplomatic resolutions to the conflict seem to be the best way to save as many lives as possible, they have met with nothing but failure. Allowing this conflict to drag out will inevitably kill more civilians in the future. If Israel can fully press their military operations into Gaza, unhindered. They will be doing their populace, and the populace of Palestine, a great favor by putting an end to this ongoing feud. This would be the best chance of giving the Palestinian people a chance at governing themselves and not living under the rule of a gangster-state which answers directly to Damascus and Tehran.