Hamas signals Qatari cash not enough to stop balloon attacks

Hamas says it will keep attacking until Israel lifts its blockade.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Hamas has made it clear that an increase in Qatari funds will not be enough to stop its incendiary attacks against Israel.

The terror group’s balloon unit published a statement directed at Israel and the mediators attempting to broker a solution, saying “the problem isn’t money” and the launching of explosive balloons will continue until Israel removes its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s blockade, also imposed by Egypt, began when Hamas took over the Strip in 2007.

Qatar’s official envoy to the Gaza Strip, Dr. Mohammed al-Emadi, arrived yesterday in the Gaza Strip. He will try and mediate an agreement between Israel and Hamas. Qatar provided $150 million in cash to Hamas over six months, beginning in March. One of the reasons for the resumption of terror attacks is that the grant is about to end.

However, Hamas has a long list of demands.

Israel has responded forcefully against Hamas attacks, retaliating daily with air and artillery strikes against terror targets in the Gaza Strip. It also shrunk and then closed Gaza’s fishing zone, and halted diesel fuel shipments into the Gaza Strip. Gaza’s diesel-fueled electric power plant was forced to reduce electricity supply to four hours a day.

Israel will resume fuel shipments on Thursday, a Palestinian source told Israel Hayom.

Gaza is also on lockdown for 48 hours starting Monday after coronavirus cases were reported. However this didn’t stop masses from gathering for a funeral for four Islamic Jihad members who were killed, it is believed, while preparing explosives to launch into Israel.

Israel has so far been unable to counter the low-tech explosive balloons, one of which landed in a soccer court on Tuesday. No one was hurt in that incident. Thirty-nine fires broke out in Israel on Tuesday. On Monday, 36 fires were counted.

Ironically, the most advanced weapons system may be the solution to the least advanced. Israel put into action a new laser weapon, “Lightblade,” that shoots down the balloons. Israel only has one device, which covers a narrow area, but it has enjoyed nearly 100 percent success. On Tuesday, it shot down 150 balloons, a new record.