Hamas Returns to Its Cycle of Extortion https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/israel-zionism/2020/08/hamas-returns-to-its-cycle-of-extortion/

August 13, 2020 | Yoav Limor
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Last week, Hamas resumed launching explosives attached to balloons and kites into Israel, one of which landed in the southern town of Arad. The IDF responded with airstrikes, and the terrorist group first test-fired a barrage of missile into the Mediterranean and then fired a missile at an Israeli town—provoking further counterstrikes. Why disturb the peace now? Because, writes Yoav Limor, the monthly aid Hamas receives from Qatar is set to expire next month:

[Extortion] has worked well [for Hamas] for the past two-and-a-half years. Both the protests and the balloons (either incendiary or equipped with explosives) that came after they prompted the Israeli government to broker the [current] deal for Qatar to send Gaza monthly infusions of cash. At first, it was $5 million, then $10 million, and now it’s $30 million per month. Supposedly, it is earmarked for the poor, but it actually serves to grease the wheels of the enormous machine Hamas has built in Gaza, and some of it—despite what the donors intended—also goes toward terrorism.

All this can teach us a few things. First, Hamas is in real financial trouble, verging on desperation. Second, Hamas is fully in control of Gaza and what happens there, whether it wants terrorism or wants to stop it. Third, Hamas does not want an escalation or a war—it wants a solution, and the steps it is taking are carefully calculated to avoid Israeli casualties. The organization thinks Israel can “live with” [the attacks so long as no one is killed].

Israel understands that and is therefore responding in kind. . . . But . . . Gaza’s problems run too deep to solve one by one. In the absence of a major strategic move that would entail either a broad agreement or a massive military action, nothing will really be solved, and sooner or later, we’ll see a revival of the same old show.

Read more on Israel Hayom: https://www.israelhayom.com/2020/08/12/hamas-shoots-israel-reacts-and-the-qataris-pay/

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