Even If It Didn’t Plant the Bomb, Hamas Is Responsible for the Latest Attack on Israeli Soldiers

Feb. 19 2018

On Saturday, a bomb exploded near an Israeli unit patrolling the border with Gaza, injuring four. Separately, an Israeli tank opened fire on a group of Gazans trying to sneak into Israel. The IDF has responded to the bombing with airstrikes on targets in the Strip connected to terrorist organizations. Eyal Zisser comments on the situation:

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for detonating the explosive device, . . . and the IDF has also avoided pointing an accusatory finger at any of the power players in the Strip. But . . . an attack like that could not have been executed without Hamas’s approval, even if merely tacit.

In any case, even if Hamas didn’t know a thing about the bomb, its lack of response against the perpetrators proves the group’s willingness to tolerate such attacks and even to welcome them. After all, there is a clear working order in Gaza. Seeking to preserve its rule, Hamas avoids carrying out terrorist attacks in order to prevent Israeli military responses. But all the while, Hamas continues to dig terror tunnels and improve its missile arsenal.

Hamas leaves the dirty work of perpetrating terror attacks to the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, whose command center is in Damascus. . . . There are also a number of terror groups operating in the Gaza Strip that refuse to accept Hamas’s authority. . . . In addition, terror cells affiliated with the Islamic State group in Sinai are also active there. Hamas tolerates the activities of all of these groups and does nothing to counter them.

The border incident on Saturday proves yet again what we learned during the 2006 Second Lebanon War: when you tolerate provocations along a border for too long, such as protesters “just” trying to breach a border fence or “just” throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers, you can be sure that terror attacks are never too far off.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, ISIS, Islamic Jihad, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security

Hamas’s Dangerous Escalation in Gaza

June 22 2018

As Hamas has stepped up its attacks on communities near the Gaza Strip—using incendiary devices attached to kites and balloons—Israel has begun to retaliate more forcefully. In response, the terrorist group has begun firing rockets and mortars into Israel. Yoav Limor comments:

What made Wednesday’s rocket salvo different is that ‎unlike previous flare-ups on the border [since 2014], this time it ‎was Hamas operatives who fired at Israel, as opposed ‎to Islamic Jihad or the ‎rogue terrorist group in the coastal enclave. ‎Still, Hamas made sure the attack followed most of ‎the familiar “rules”—only [firing] at night and only at the ‎ communities in the vicinity of Gaza, and apparently while also ‎trying to minimize any casualties, to avoid further ‎escalation. ‎. . .

The first reason [for the shift in tactics] is Israel’s own change of policy ‎with regard to kite terrorism. It took Israel far ‎too long to define the incessant waves of incendiary ‎kites sent over the border as actionable acts of ‎terror, but once it did, the IDF began ‎systematically countering them, including firing ‎warning shots at terrorist kite cells and targeting ‎Hamas assets in Gaza in retaliation.‎

The second reason is Hamas’s own frustration and ‎distress in Gaza. Since the border-riot campaign was ‎launched on March 30, some 150 of its operatives ‎have been killed and the Israeli military has ‎carried out over 100 strikes on Hamas positions in ‎the coastal enclave, all while Hamas has nothing to ‎show for it. ‎In this situation, Hamas is searching for [some sort of victory] by declaring that “bombings will be ‎met with bombings,” as Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum ‎said Wednesday, in order to portray itself as defending Gaza from ‎Israel.‎ . . .

Hamas is banking on Israel opting against a military ‎campaign in Gaza at this time so as not to split its ‎focus from the [developments in Syria], but it is sorely ‎mistaken if it thinks Israel will simply contain ‎kite terrorism or shy away from action given the new ‎equation it has presented. ‎At some point, Israel’s patience will expire.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security