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.