Hamas under pressure to attack Israel, say sources in Gaza

Hamas is feeling the heat to take action against Israel as the IDF pounds Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip. 

By Baruch Yedid, TPS 

Hamas is facing intense internal pressure to join the Islamic Jihad in its attack on Israel, especially in wake of the mounting casualty count among Gazans, but so far Hamas has displayed no intention to join the fighting, a source in Gaza told TPS on Wednesday.

While Hamas has said that the Islamic Jihad should lead the fighting against Israel, the Gazan source said with no end to the hostilities in sight, and as the pressure on Hamas by the Gazan street is growing, Hamas may change its policy and attack Israel.

Other sources told TPS that Hamas is not taking any action to limit Islamic Jihad’s rocket attacks, and that should be considered its contribution to the fighting.

In the meantime, an internal bulletin circulating among Islamic Jihad operatives, a copy of which was viewed by TPS, ordered them to intensify their fire on Israel and expressed hope that Hamas would join the fighting if the fire increased.

Other sources noted that Hamas’ refrain from joining the Islamic Jihad is a dramatic “abandonment” of the terror organization.

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However, a source within the Palestinian Authority (PA) warned that Israel’s “embrace” of Hamas is forcing it to act out of embarrassment.

He told TPS that the Israeli media’s hailing of Hamas’ restraint and the IDF’s refrain from striking Hamas terror targets in the Strip paint Hamas as a collaborator with Israel. This may lead Hamas to show it “stands with the people of Gaza” and join in the fighting.