But the degree to which it will affect the peace process is uncertain and a point of debate among many.
Sarah Shields, an associate history professor at UNC and an expert on the Middle East, said she believes Israel's entrance into the war on terror could cause many problems for the United States.
Shields said Israel's military action might cause especially great damage to the international perception of America's campaign. She said almost three times as many Palestinians as Israelis have been killed in various confrontations between the two sides since September 2000.
"The United States has a problem because the world has seen this disparity," Shields said.
She added that in order to remain legitimate in the eyes of foreign nations, the United States must set the parameters of its fight and be careful not to alienate its other allies.
"The United States needs to define terrorism," Shields said. "If the U.S. tolerates Israel breaking international law then they're tolerating a double standard."
Shields said fighting in the Middle East will continue as long as Israel is occupying Palestinian territory. "The violence is caused by occupation, and it won't stop until the occupation is over."
The United States has yet to consider forcing Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories.
Shields said Middle Eastern tensions are further complicated because the Israelis and Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group, are too different to reach a compromise. "The extremes are making it impossible to negotiate a settlement."