The Middle East: Restraint Running Out?

When the first shells whistled in, off-guard Israeli troops were playing a Sabbath soccer game. Within moments along the 70-mile Suez front, Egyptian gunners had opened up with everything from long-range artillery to Russian-made Katyusha rockets. In all, 15 Israeli soldiers were killed and 34 wounded, mostly in the first rounds. The Israelis fired back, accounting for five Egyptian dead and nine wounded. It was the second artillery ambush by the Egyptians in seven weeks, and the first in which the Israelis emerged second best.

The barrage signaled yet another notch of military escalation by the Egyptians, who are now...