JERUSALEM, Israel -- As the weeklong Passover holiday begins, some Israeli soldiers won't be joining their families. Instead, they'll be standing guard at Israel's northern and southern borders.
In the south, the peace treaty with Egypt, which prevailed for more than 30 years, kept the southern border relatively quiet. That may be changing now.
With the Muslim Brotherhood controlling the parliament and its candidate running for president in next month's election, Egypt is poised to become a full-fledged Islamic Republic. That doesn't bode well for Israel.
In the year since the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak fell, the vast stretches of desert in the Sinai Peninsula have provided ample sheltered places to train would-be jihadists.
On Thursday, a rocket fired from the Sinai exploded near a construction site in Israel's southernmost resort town of Eilat, spewing shrapnel within 10 meters (yards) of nearby homes. There were no injuries, and no group claimed responsibility for the attack.
In the nearby Gaza Strip, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terror groups share a common ideology to free "Palestine" from the "Zionists occupiers" by eliminating the Jewish nation-state.
In the North
At Israel's northern border, Russia and Iran continue arming Syrian troops with advanced weaponry, seemingly unaffected by the yearlong brutality that has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people.
Hezbollah, Iran's Lebanese proxy, is also believed to be arming and training troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Eyewitnesses have identified Hezbollah operatives fighting alongside government troops.
Yet despite increasing international criticism of the government's crackdown, Russia and Iran have remained Assad's stalwart supporters.
For Iran, Syria provides a foothold on Israel's northern border, from where it can attack Israel.
Russia's complex trade ties with Syria go back decades. Several years ago, Syria allowed Russia to modernize its ports at Tartus and Latakia, providing Russia with its only seaports on the Mediterranean.
In return, Russia forgave Syria an estimated $10 billion in debt leftover from the Soviet era.
According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia has provided 78 percent of the weaponry to Syria, including long-range, surface-to-air missiles; anti-missile defense systems; rifles and other small arms; land mines; and MiG jet fighters.