Threats from Damascus and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah to turn the Golan Heights into a "resistance front" against Israel could end nearly four decades of calm across the increasingly tense ceasefire line separating Israeli and Syrian forces.
No one knows for sure why the Gaza hostilities began. We know that there had been weeks of intensifying rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, rockets fired by various Palestinian groups that were tolerated, even encouraged by the governing Hamas.
The Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah said on Friday it possessed what it called precision rockets that could kill "tens of thousands" of Israelis in strikes on Israel.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah praised Hamas on Friday for the West Bank shooting attacks which left four Israelis dead and two injured on two consecutive days, saying "this is the way to free Jerusalem and Palestine."