The Arab Spring and the Gaza war
The last time Israel launched a full-on assault on Gaza was 2008 - but the political realities on the ground now are very different.
The Arab Spring has brought revolution to countries across the region; Egypt, one of only two Arab countries to have a peace agreement with Israel, is now being lef by the Muslim brotherhood - of which Hamas is an offshoot.
The Arab League has since been meeting in Cairo to discuss the crisis with its chief Nabil al-Arabi, saying he will head a delegation to Gaza to affirm solidarity with the Palestinians.
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's president has also condemned Israel's aggression and responded with several diplomatic measures, including recalling his ambassador to Tel Aviv and opening the Rafah border crossing for wounded Gazans. "If a ground invasion takes place, as Israelis are saying, this will have serious repercussions for the region. We will never accept this and neither will the free world."
Sounds like a line drawn in the, er, sand to me.
Qatar is one of the countries taking the lead on the Gaza crisis. The Gulf nation's Emir visited Gaza last month, the first head of state to do so since Hamas took control.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said: "The stance taken by the Arab countries following the Arab Spring revolutions is different; if we recall in 2008 Egypt was not able to provide anything to the people of Gaza; now and in the light of the new change, Egypt's PM pays a visit to Gaza, Tunisian FM goes to Gaza, I headed to Gaza weeks ago. If there is no change, none could have happened.
My first though was 'unintended consequences" but perhaps for those not in the Barcalounger, these consequences were very much intended. Hard to argue with them, if so.