Empty threats? Hamas waiting for ‘significant event’ to attack Israel

After vowing to punish Israel for Jerusalem Day celebrations, Gaza-based terror group appears reluctant to follow through with its threats.

By Baruch Yedid, TPS

Hamas is on high alert as Israel celebrates Jerusalem Day and ahead of a possible attack on Israel, but prefers not to attack the Jewish state at this time, various assessments of the situation indicate.

A source in the Gaza Strip told TPS Sunday after meeting with one of the commanders of the rocket units near the city that all of Hamas’ military units are ready for action.

According to the Hamas source, Gaza is waiting for pictures to arrive from Jerusalem because “the pictures will speak if and when, for example, Palestinians are killed or there is a significant incident of harm to the sanctuaries of the mosques or even a serious incitement such as calls of death to the Arabs.”

The coming hours are critical, as Gaza and Israel are waiting for a picture that will bring Hamas to respond. As things appear now, only an extremely violent incident will prompt Hamas to attack Israel.

The source agrees that Hamas wants to keep the Gaza Strip quiet and estimates after meeting with officials in Hamas, that it is possible that the first shot will come from Lebanon, and not the Gaza Strip.

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“You must understand that Hamas is waging a struggle for al-Aqsa and wants to unite all the arenas around it … If Hamas had waged a struggle over the port [in Gaza], for example, or the siege, there would have been no need to use other arenas,” he said.

The source rejected the assessment in Israel about disputes between the Hamas leadership in Gaza and Hamas’ leadership abroad, or between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

A senior Israeli security official told TPS that his assessment is that Jerusalem Day will pass relatively quietly with local friction in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria.

Gaza will keep quiet, possibly paying lip service by launching a rocket into an open space, and then a moderate and proportionate response by Israel, closing the matter in “a known scenario.”

Hamas has no interest in another round of warfare and continues to engage in building its military power, and is interested in the relief measures Israel has given to the Gaza Strip and does not want them canceled, he noted.