The Increasing Risk of War Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza Raises Fears of Broader Military Conflict

Published February 7th, 2020 – 08:59 GMT

Highlights

Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz on Tuesday said Hamas had launched balloons and rockets to pressure Israel to ease its blockade as part of the truce.

Strikes by Israeli aircraft on Hamas positions in Gaza early on Thursday have raised fears of a broader military confrontation as anger grows over the Trump peace plan.

Israel carried out limited airstrikes after Palestinians in the enclave fired missiles and launched explosive balloons across the border about 10 days ago. Palestinian security sources reported hits on targets north of a refugee camp near Gaza City and a Hamas facility in the southern Gaza Strip.

The escalation in hostilities brought warnings from Israeli and Palestinian observers that the cease-fire arrangements brokered by Egypt a few months ago could collapse and the situation spin out of control toward a military confrontation.

Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz on Tuesday said Hamas had launched balloons and rockets to pressure Israel to ease its blockade as part of the truce.

In response, Israel has halted steps to ease the blockade imposed 13 years ago, reducing the permits it gives to merchants, stopping the supply of cement and preventing the export of agricultural products.

“The resistance forces in Gaza are in contact with the Egyptian mediator to pressure Israel to implement its obligations related to easing the blockade,” an Islamic Jihad movement leader, Ahmed Al-Mudallal, said.

“We do not want our people to go to war, and the effects of the last war (2014) still remain. But the resistance cannot remain idle in the face of the tight and suffocating siege and Israel stalling in the implementation of its obligations,” he said.

Al-Mudallal warned Israel that any failure to meet its obligations could lead to “an explosion.” However, Hamza Abu Shanab, a political analyst affiliated with Hamas, said imminent war in Gaza is unlikely.

“The conditions are not ripe for a wide military confrontation, and every party, whether Hamas or Israel, knows that the price of this confrontation will be great and painful,” he said.

According to Abu Shanab, Hamas is trying to take advantage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s preoccupation with elections early next month, and build pressure to improve life in Gaza, without entering into a war.

“Netanyahu is practicing a balanced policy, as he does not want the understanding in Gaza to collapse,” he said.

Abu Shanab believes the chances of a large-scale military confrontation in the near future remain slim.

“Netanyahu does not want to gamble, and Hamas does not want to lose the improvements since the cease-fire deal was reached,” he said.

Political scientist Prof. Tayseer Muheisen agrees that Netanyahu’s strategy is based on achieving gains in Gaza and the region without war since any military confrontation will threaten his political life.

On the other hand, “Hamas relies on slow pressure to achieve gains related to easing the suffocating siege imposed on Gaza without bearing the consequences and losses of the war,” Muheisen said.

He said that factions in Gaza have only limited options to put pressure on Netanyahu, but would resort to conflict only in the event that Israel continues to evade its obligations under the cease-fire.

“The situation in Gaza will remain the same. There will not be a major development and each party will maintain its deliberate responses,” he said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

Via SyndiGate.info

Copyright: Arab News © 2020 All rights reserved.

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