Israel and Hamas came to blows on Wednesday. Hamas fired nearly 200 rockets and mortar shells at Israel, and Israel responded by striking 150 Hamas targets in Gaza. So far, the signals coming out of Israel are hardly encouraging. A senior official for the Israel Defense Forces said that Israel and Hamas were “rapidly nearing a confrontation.” An IDF spokesman said additional forces had been deployed to the area and preparations to evacuate southern Israel were in place. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene his security Cabinet to discuss next steps. The main thing to watch is whether Israel calls up reserves. Right now, war doesn’t appear to be imminent, but the past 24 hours have shown that things can change at a moment’s notice. So much for the cease-fire Egypt was believed to be brokering.
Iraq is (sort of) pushing back against U.S. sanctions on Iran. The government in Baghdad said it would respect the sanctions, but multiple Shiite militia groups, wary of havi
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