Hamas and Fatah Compete by Shedding Jewish Blood

During the past four weeks, there has been a rash of violent attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank. These are not a response to any Israeli actions, nor are they spontaneous outbursts. Rather, as Itamar Marcus and Maurice Hirsch explain, the violence is the result of deliberate incitement by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which began when its president, Mahmoud Abbas, realized he was unlikely to win the upcoming national elections. The violence, write Marcus and Hirsch, was originally a way to win votes, and is now a way to maintain popularity after Abbas’s decision to postpone the elections in definitely:

The intensified incitement started on The Tune of the Homeland, a quiz show broadcasting highly violent, pro-terror songs. To ensure maximum effect, the show was broadcast during the 4:00-5:00 p.m. time slot for children’s programming. From March 13 to March 17, The Tune of the Homeland repeatedly broadcast the song “My Machine Gun Is in My Hand.”

As the holy Muslim month of Ramadan approached, the PA TV’s machine guns were replaced with suicide belts. From April 2 to April 10, The Tune of the Homeland broadcast, on at least twenty occasions, a clip in which Palestinians declared, “I fired my shots, I threw my bomb, I detonated, detonated, detonated my [explosive] belts. . . . My brother, throw my blood on the enemy like bullets.”

Primed by this PA incitement, soon after Ramadan started, Palestinian youth and Jerusalem Arabs started indiscriminately attacking Jews and uploading the videos of the attacks to TikTok, a social-media platform particularly popular with young people. . . . As the violence erupted, Abbas’s Fatah [party] took to social media to fuel the flames.

Not wanting to be upstaged by the new anti-Israel “uprising” coming from Abbas’s Fatah, Hamas realized that it had to compete with Abbas or lose political points. And so, one night without warning, Hamas competed with Fatah in the manner that it knows has the most influence, and launched more than 40 missiles at southern Israel in “defense of Jerusalem.”. . . For Abbas, Fatah and Hamas, violence directed at Israel “in defense of Jerusalem” is just another one of the methods of playing internal Palestinian politics and campaigning before elections. While Hamas fires rockets, Abbas, the PA, and Fatah prefer the more subtle approach of inciting and recruiting Palestinian youth and sending them out to attack Israelis, as part of the PA’s child-terrorist army.

Read more at JNS

More about: Fatah, Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian terror

Why Hizballah Is Threatening Cyprus

In a speech last Wednesday, Hizballah’s secretary general Hassan Nasrallah not only declared that “nowhere will be safe” in Israel in the event of an all-out war, but also that his forces would attack the island nation of Cyprus. Hanin Ghaddar, Farzin Nadimi, and David Schenker observe that this is no idle threat, but one the Iran-backed terrorist group has “a range of options” for carrying out. They explain: 

Nasrallah’s threat to Cyprus was not random—the republic has long maintained close ties with Israel, much to Hizballah’s irritation. In recent years, the island has hosted multiple joint air-defense drills and annual special-forces exercises with Israel focused on potential threats from Hizballah and Iran.

Nasrallah’s threat should also be viewed in the context of wartime statements by Iran and its proxies about disrupting vital shipping lanes to Israel through the East Mediterranean.

This scenario should be particularly troubling to Washington given the large allied military presence in Cyprus, which includes a few thousand British troops, more than a hundred U.S. Air Force personnel, and a detachment of U-2 surveillance aircraft from the 1st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron.

Yoni Ben Menachem suggests there is an additional aspect to Nasrallah’s designs on Cyprus, involving a plan

to neutralize the Israeli air force through two primary actions: a surprise attack with precision missiles and UAVs on Israeli air-force bases and against radar and air-defense facilities, including paralyzing Ben-Gurion Airport.

Nasrallah’s goal is to ground Israeli aircraft to prevent them from conducting missions in Lebanon against mid- and long-range missile launchers. Nasrallah fears that Israel might preempt his planned attack by deploying its air force to Cypriot bases, a scenario the Israeli air force practiced with Cyprus during military exercises over the past year.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Cyprus, Hizballah, U.S. Security