As the scope of Hamas attacks come into view, the Middle East future grows murky

Just last week, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan talked about how “quiet” the Middle East was.

“I emphasize for now, because all of that can change, and the Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades,” he said.

It’s not anymore.

Hamas launched a massive attack against Israel from Gaza, far more than anything in decades. The images are horrific from what was an incredibly-coordinated attack that was somehow completely missed by Israeli intelligence. It’s still far from clear what was done and the fallout but Israel’s declaration of war against Hamas wasn’t hyperbole; officials from Israel promised to leave Gaza in ruins.

Efraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad, Israel’s Intelligence Service, told CNN:

“The number of missiles they have launched within less than 24 hours is over 3,000. This is beyond imagination from our point of view, and we didn’t know they had this quantity of missiles, and we certainly didn’t expect that they would be as effective as they were today.”

Fingers are being pointed in every direction, particularly at Iran and it comes just as the US was trying to broker a defense pact with Saudi Arabia. Given what’s likely to be a long and brutal response against Hamas, it will now be difficult for Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel as part of that deal.

In general, Israel-Palestine conflicts don’t move global markets but the scope of this is now so large and has so much potential to spread beyond Gaza that markets are sure to take notice on Monday and that likely means a bid in safe haven assets like gold and Treasuries; along with commodities that could be affected like oil. Also expect a bid in the US dollar.



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