NY.Just last week, an Israeli attack killed a Hezbollah commander in Lebanon, Hezbollah launched a rocket attack on a sensitive Israeli base and Israel killed a senior Hamas terrorist in an airstrike in Beirut.
Each attack and counter-attack increases the risk that a devastating war in Gaza will spread to the region.
The decades-long standoff between the United States and Israel against Iran and allied terrorist groups raises fears that either side could provoke a broader war to avoid showing weakness.
An Iranian-backed militia leader was killed in a US strike in Baghdad last week, and the US Navy recently exchanged fire with Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.
Divisions within each camp add another layer of instability.
Hamas hoped its attack on southern Israel on October 7 would spark a war in Gaza and draw its allies into a larger conflict.
Israelis are increasingly talking about the need to change the equation in Lebanon, while Washington wants to control the conflict.
As the game of chess becomes more complex, the possibility of miscalculation increases.
Hamas says the October 7 attack was a response by Palestinians to decades of Israeli rule.
There is no evidence that Iran, Hezbollah and other affiliated groups played a direct role or had prior knowledge of it.
But when Israel responded by launching one of the most devastating military offensives of the 21st century in Gaza, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, the so-called axis of resistance – backed by Iran and terrorist groups throughout the region – was pressured to respond. For.
The Palestinian issue has deep resonance throughout the region, and leaving Hamas alone to face Israel’s wrath would cause the military alliance that Iran has been building since the 1979 Islamic Revolution to clash with the West.
“They don’t want war, but they also don’t want to allow the Israelis to attack without retaliation,” said Qassem Kassir, a Lebanese expert on Hezbollah.