Last month I asked: ‘Are Israeli actions in the Gaza designed to provoke war with Iran?’ In it I suggested that Israel were deliberately trying to provoke war with Hamas by attacking the Palestinians in the Gaza. Yesterday, after their criminal tank attack on the sleeping townsfolk in Beit Hanoun that has resulted in the death of some 18 Palestinians, including 8 children and 6 women, Hamas have finally said that enough is enough and have called for retaliation to protect the people of the Gaza.
A full-on war between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza will likely bring in Hizbollah in support of Hamas. The previously tried but failed domino of escalation to bring Iran in to the conflict via Hizbollah, Syria and the US in order to bring on the ‘final showdown’ could well be attempted again.
In Colorado Springs last Saturday, Vice-President Dick Cheney told his audience that the administration would continue “full steam ahead” with its Iraq policy regardless of yesterday’s election results. This arrogance not only clearly indicates that the administration is not in the slightest bit interested in the now expressed wishes of the American people but also demonstrates that the administrations ‘full steam ahead’ Iraq policy in all likelihood refers also to the administrations entire Middle East policy which ultimately includes confrontation with Iran.
 Damian Lataan, ‘Are Israeli actions designed to provoke war with Iran?’ lataan.blogspot, 16 October 2006. Available online: http://lataan.blogspot.com/2006/10/are-israeli-actions-in-gaza-designed.html Accessed 9 November 2006.
 Ian Fisher and Steven Erlanger, ‘Isreali Shells Kill 18; Hamas Calls for Retaliation’, New York Times, 8 November 2006. Available online: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/world/middleeast/08cnd-mideast.html?hp&ex=1163048400&en=279c65ead1f119fb&ei=5094&partner=homepage Accessed 9 November 2006.
 Martin Kettle, ‘America has spoken’, UK Guardian, 8 November 2006. Available online: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/martin_kettle/2006/11/america_has_spoken.html Accessed 9 November 2006.