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NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 16 April) – The tension in the Middle East over the Israeli- Hamas war in Gaza is mounting and could escalate into a regional conflict.

That is why President Biden has been ratcheting up pressure on the Jewish state for a ceasefire or to scale back its Gaza military operations. The latter is unmindful; it instead has intensified its assault, amounting to a genocide, on the Palestinians in the god-forsaken place.

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Now comes Iran’s missile attack of Israel over the weekend.

Iran on Saturday night, in sympathetic support to its Palestinian ally, unleashed a retaliatory strike against Israel, sending 170 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more than 120 ballistic missiles and more than 30 cruise missiles toward targets throughout the country.

The attack on Israel came more than six months after Hamas militants invaded the country on Oct. 7, after which the Israeli military began its bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Iran warns that it will respond in seconds if Israel strikes back.

As Israel on Monday weighed its response to Iran’s weekend attack, the US made it clear to its favorite ally that if it strikes back at Iran, it will have to do it alone. The warning was likely born out of disgust over Israel’s stubbornness and unrelenting assault in Gaza, and, of course, to avoid the escalation of the conflict.

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Biden is on a tightrope over the Israeli situation, balancing the need to support its stubborn alley and avoiding a conflagration in the Middle East. At the end, he opted to leave the Israelis to their own device to save his presidency and re-election bid.

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A new war will ruin his chance for re-election because it would project his lack of diplomatic skill to manage conflict and pursue peace.

“Peace and quiet benefit incumbent presidents,” said Ari Fleischer, a political analyst, “Turmoil, violence and a growing sense that international events are out of control hurt incumbents.”

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental.)

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