Since the end of last week, Israel has been concentrating troops and supplies along its border with the Gaza Strip, likely in anticipation of further provocations by Hamas, which has organized violent demonstrations there every Friday for several months. Vivian Bercovici comments:
The loss of life that ebbs and flows on these Fridays following afternoon prayers is unfortunate but inevitable. Though these Hamas hoodlums do not pose an existential threat to the state of Israel, they absolutely do to the tens of thousands of Israelis living in communities along the border. And then there are the arson kites, a Hamas innovation that has burned approximately 10,000 acres of agricultural land and nature preserves in Israel in the last six months. . . .
Yet, in an unprecedented and extraordinary interview with the Italian journalist Francesca Borri and published [Friday] in an Israeli newspaper, Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’s political leader in Gaza, dismissed the arson attacks as mere “messages” causing no real harm. But Sinwar and his crew have been ramping things up along the border recently, sending boys to toss grenades, Molotov cocktails, and other crude incendiary devices at the IDF soldiers. They’ve also been active at night and early morning, causing the IDF to go on high alert.
This is textbook Hamas. They are being squeezed on multiple fronts and the only way to take control, in their playbook, is to invite war. During his interviews with Borri, which took place at various locations in Gaza over a five-day period. Sinwar was adamant that Hamas wants peace, but that outcome is possible only on his terms. Those terms—that Hamas should retain a military force and all borders must be opened unconditionally—are absurd. . . .
It’s such ham-handed propaganda that it almost hurts to read this clumsy attempt to influence Israeli and world public opinion. Sinwar wants war because it’s the only option he has. . . . It’s the last, most reliable way to distract the miserable masses from Hamas’s failure to govern.