ANALYSIS: Israel and Hamas are being maneuvered closer and closer to an open war, and the Palestinian Authority’s autocrat Mahmoud Abbas, strategically placing counter-punches to exert even more misery on the Gazans, is expediting the next armed conflict.
By Yochanan Visser
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told his cabinet the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were preparing for war against Hamas and other Iranian-backed terror organisations in the Gaza Strip.
According to the Israeli news show Hadeshot Netanyahu told his ministers that in light of the attempt by the Palestinian Authority to “choke” Hamas in Gaza it was far from certain civil distress in the coastal enclave would diminish.
“We are preparing militarily — that is not an empty statement,” Netanyahu warned.
Last week, the IDF already sent reinforcements to the border with Gaza and started to use drones to shoot down incendiary balloons and kites which have already caused an ecological disaster in southern Israel and killed livestock.
Israel, furthermore, curtailed the fishing zone off-coast in Gaza from 9 to 6 nautical miles and at the same time allowed Qatar to step in to alleviate the ever worsening humanitarian crisis in the coastal enclave.
On Saturday, the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar reported Qatar had begun funneling funds to Gaza via Israel with tacit approval of the United States and the UN.
Qatar was willing to pay for fuel which would allow Gaza’s only power plant to resume operations while the UN with funds donated by Qatar would pay the salaries of civil servants for three months.
In addition, Israel offered to issue entry permits for 5,000 merchants from Gaza for business purposes.
The new aid package didn’t materialize, however, because Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas blocked the measures.
Last week, Abbas reportedly issued an ultimatum to Hamas in Gaza after renewed Egyptian efforts to reach a reconciliation agreement between the PA and Hamas failed miserably.
The Hamas government in Gaza was given one month to hand over power to the PA or face a total freeze of funding by the central Palestinian government in Ramallah.
The PA is still sending $96 million monthly to Hamas in Gaza but Abbas has indicated the PA should not be hold responsible for the financial situation in Gaza as long as Hamas refuses to hand over power and dismantles its military arm the Izz-a-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
Abbas policies towards the Gaza Strip have drew the ire of Egyptian President Abdel Fateh el-Sisi who at the end of last week held a tensed telephone conversation with the ailing PA leader.
El-Sisi warned Abbas against additional measures against Hamas in Gaza because he thinks it would further destabilize the Sinai Peninsula where the Egyptian army is struggling to contain Wilayat Sinai one of the many ISIS branches in the world.
Abbas reportedly told the Egyptian President that it’s not his policies which are endangering Egypt’s security but “the establishment of a Muslim Brotherhood state in Gaza.”
Hamas, meanwhile, has stepped up its violent campaign against Israel and on Friday last week organized one of the largest violent demonstrations along the border with Israel since the beginning of the ‘Great March of Return’ at the end of March.
During this orgy of violence Palestinian Arabs threw grenades, Molotov cocktails and improvised explosive devices at IDF positions along the border while Hamas also started to attack IDF soldiers at night.
In addition, the Sunni terrorist organization also tried to infiltrate Israel via breaches in the security fence along the Gaza border.
On Monday night roughly 7,000 Palestinian Arabs provoked Israeli troops by attacking them with burning tires, rocks and firebombs while dozens of boats tried to break through Israel’s naval blockade, Arutz 7 reported.
Israeli security services are now very concerned the violence will spread to the so-called West Bank (Judea and Samaria).
After the murder of Israeli activist Ari Fuld who was stabbed in the back by a Palestinian terrorist two weeks ago there has been a significant uptick in terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria.
Palestinian terrorists attacked Jewish villages and towns in the area with incendiary balloons, increased stabbing attacks on IDF soldiers and also resumed shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers and citizens.
The gruesome murder on two Israeli Jews [photographed above] at the Barkan Industrial Park near the town of Ariel in Samaria on Sunday was apparently planned.
Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa the Palestinian terrorist who carried out the attack hadn’t shown up for work at the recycling factory at Barkan for weeks and left a suicide note with a friend three days before the double homicide.
His weapon, a locally manufactured Carlo Gustav submachine gun was most likely provided by Hamas which is operating an illegal weapon industry in Judea and Samaria.
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