Hamas and Islamic State Face off in Gaza

Radical jihadists loosely affiliated with Islamic State (IS) and, like IS, adherents of the Salafi school of Islam have carried out a string of attacks against Hamas officials and offices in Gaza. Hamas has retaliated by making arrests and destroying a mosque affiliated with the movement. Danny Rubinstein explains the dispute between these two terrorist groups:

The first and foremost ideological difference [between the two] is that Hamas is a national Palestinian organization. Its goal is to fight solely against Israel inside the borders of the Palestinian homeland. Hamas’s leader, Khaled Meshal, has declared on numerous occasions that Hamas will not operate outside of Palestine. Those declarations earned the group the opportunity to participate in the 2006 election in Gaza and enter into a unity government with Fatah.

This is not the case with the Salafist groups affiliated with IS. Their ideology is anti-national. They have attacked, and still are attacking, Muslim Brotherhood leaders—such as the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin . . . —who incorporate a national component in their ideology.

It is no wonder that those zealous, anti-national Muslim groups are flourishing in places where the national Arab leadership has failed. Arab nationalism has enabled the establishment of states within borders set by the imperialists. Now, when one by one those countries disintegrate, the Islamic State movement, unbound by national borders, rears its head. We see this happening in Iraq and Syria and to some extent in Libya and Yemen as well. Is this also the fate awaiting the Palestinians, who have not yet succeeded in establishing their own national state?

Read more at i24 News

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, ISIS, Israel & Zionism, Radical Islam, Salafism


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security