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Israel consistently acts to provoke a regional war

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Israel seems keen to expand the war, through its actions against Hezbollah and other regional actors. Despite attempting to distance itself from some of the escalatory violations of international law and norms, the US (and other Western nations such as the UK), have only engaged in further actions that work to inflame regional tensions themselves, the writer says. – Image: The Palestine Chronicle

By Robert Inlakesh

The United States seems to be prepared to do little to prevent what clearly appears to be an attempt to drag them into an escalation.

Despite declarations from policymakers in Washington, that they do not seek the current Gaza war transforming into a broader regional conflict that involves Iran, their Israeli allies have been given a free hand to consistently provoke escalation.

If this slippery slope of Israeli escalation with regional actors is not curtailed, a major war may be brewing.

In Solidarity with Palestine

In solidarity with the Palestinian Resistance, a number of regional players have opened separate fronts with the Israeli regime.

Lebanese Hezbollah was the first regional player to declare it was entering into a strategic escalation, which began on October 8 and has been carefully managed to take the military burden off of the Gaza Strip, yet careful to avoid taking steps that usher in a full-scale war between Lebanon and Israel.

Later that month, Yemen’s Ansarallah would begin launching missiles and drones towards southern occupied Palestine, targeting Israeli positions, before adopting its more effective blockade on shipping towards the Eilat Port.

A group calling itself the Islamic Resistance in Iraq also initiated operations against US forces and later directly targeted Israeli strategic sites.

When it comes to the Islamic Republic of Iran, they have openly declared their support for the Palestinian Resistance factions inside Gaza and co-ordinated closely with the various fronts across the region but have explicitly stated that they do not intend to trigger a regional war.

Carte Blanche to Israel

When analysing the statements of American officials, it is clear that their rhetoric is of a nation interested in supporting their allies in Tel Aviv but managing the situation to quell the possibility of regional escalation. However, in action, the US government has given the Israelis a carte blanche to behave in any way they choose.

In Lebanon, one of Israel’s earliest moves was to target civilian homes in the south of the country.

On October 13, Israeli tank fire murdered Reuters journalist, Issam Abdallah. Continuing its killing spree of journalists, Israel targeted two Al-Mayadeen employees on November 21.

On January 2, Israel then carried out an assassination strike which killed a senior Hamas leader, Saleh al-Arouri, in a southern suburb of the nation’s capital, Beirut.

On February 26, the Israeli air force bombarded Baalbek, in the north of Lebanon, for the first time since 2006. Since then, they have targeted this area over and over, killing civilians in the process.

Each one of these escalations were met with calculated responses from Hezbollah, which has refrained from striking the Israeli back to the same degree.

Targeting Syrian Missile Storage Facilities

Inside of Syria, the Israelis have steadily upped the degree of their unprovoked attacks against the Syrian Arab Army, Iranian officials and Syrian civilians.

A Syrian source with intimate knowledge of internal military affairs, told the Palestine Chronicle under the condition of anonymity, that over the past months the Israeli military has shifted to targeted Syrian missile storage facilities, along with civilian infrastructure.

In December, Israeli airstrikes also murdered Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) official, Razi Mousavi, which led to Iranian strikes on what they said were Mossad targets located in northern Iraq.

In late January, Israeli airstrikes then murdered five IRGC officials and three members of the Syrian Arab Army in Damascus.

More recently, the Israeli airstrikes that demolished the Iranian consulate in Damascus, representing a direct attack on Iranian territory, murdered at least seven Iranians, including two senior members of the IRGC’s Quds Forces.

No Red Lines

Despite the US attempting to distance itself from some of the escalatory violations of international law and norms, it has failed to set any red line for its allies in Tel Aviv.

Instead, the US and other Western nations, such as the UK, have only engaged in further actions that work to inflame regional tensions themselves.

Washington’s Operation Prosperity Guardian, launched to break the blockade placed in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Ansarallah, has not only been an embarrassingly expensive failure, but an endorsement of Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.

The US has also carried out a number of assassinations against senior figures affiliated with Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), which are an officially integrated part of Baghdad’s security apparatus.

The latest strikes against IRGC officials are tantamount to a declaration of war against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Yet, the US seems to be prepared to do little to prevent what clearly appears to be an attempt to drag them into an escalation which could transform into a major war spanning across much of West Asia.

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. He focuses on the Middle East, specialising in Palestine. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle