“Why did the Islamic Jihad do this? The answer is again and again and again – Iran,” former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror said.
Iran directed its terror proxy Islamic Jihad to tie up Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip in order to free up Iran’s forces to do what they want to unhindered in Syria, a former Israeli national security adviser said.
“Why did the Islamic Jihad do this?” Yaakov Amidror asked. “The answer is again and again and again – Iran.”
Islamic Jihad, unlike Hamas, is a completely owned and operated Iranian subsidiary, Mr. Amidror said. “It was established by Iran, financed by Iran, and does what Iran wants it to do.”
In an interview with The Israel Project, Mr. Amidror said he traced the recent round of rocket attacks on Israel to May 3, when an Islamic Jihad sniper fired on IDF soldiers patrolling the Gaza border, wounding two officers. Israel responded and killed two Hamas men, and then the rocket barrage began from Gaza.
What made the May 3 shooting on the IDF patrol interesting, Mr. Amidror said, was that it took place precisely when Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders were in Cairo putting the finishing touches on an agreement drawn up by Egypt that was designed to ease the tension in the region.
In a statement issued on May 5, Islamic Jihad said that it was ready to wage an “open confrontation” with Israel. It said that the continuation of Israeli military strikes “will be met with a similar and large-scale response” targeting all Israel.
In a separate statement, Islamic Jihad announced that six of its men were killed in Israeli military strikes over the weekend.
Iran’s motive for sparking the conflict, Mr. Amidror said, is that “Israel will be busy focusing on Gaza and not have enough energy to deal with the building up of an independent war machine in Syria.”
Hamas, Mr. Amidror said, was “dragged” into the current escalation by Islamic Jihad. He added that whatever is agreed upon in Cairo – whatever arrangements are reached regarding fishing rights, the economy and the transfer of Qatari funds – “at the end of the day, it will be destroyed by Islamic Jihad if Hamas does not take control and do what it should as an organization that is in control of the Gaza Strip.”
Mr. Amidror, a former head of Military intelligence’s Research Department and currently a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, said that Islamic Jihad miscalculated in thinking that Israel would not retaliate during the week of Remembrance Day and Independence Day – and with the Eurovision song contest scheduled to be held in Tel Aviv later this month.