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Originally posted on National Post | News:

TEL AVIV/GAZA – Gaza’s Hamas movement wanted a showdown with Israel because its leaders are high on the Arab Spring and competing to become martyrs to the Palestinian cause.

Or, from another perspective, cynical Israeli politicians think a Gaza offensive will be a walkover that will assure re-election in January and at the same time provide a death-blow to Palestinian statehood moves at the United Nations.

Those are two ends of a spectrum of theories among Israelis and Palestinians about what has propelled the two sides towards their second war in four years, escalating a low-level, slap-for-slap conflict to the brink of an Israeli invasion of Gaza.

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Without going back 2,000 years to the origins of the dispute, the roots of the latest high-explosive crisis can be traced in a series of “red lines” that have been crossed.

Specifically: firing a Russian Kornet anti-tank missile on Nov. 10…

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