Hamas remained mostly on the sidelines in Saturday’s fighting in Gaza, raising the chances that the current round of cross-border violence will be contained both in scope and duration.
Hamas Politburo leader Ismail Haniyeh issued a non-committal statement, saying Israel took full responsibility for the recent escalation, without elaborating on Hamas’ own intentions.
One reason might be work. Since the last large-scale Gaza conflict last May, Israel has shifted its policy to Gaza in what officials describe as an effort to keep the peace, leaving her 2 million people in a coastal enclave. provide financial incentives to civilians and enhance Hamas’ interests. It is necessary to decide to participate in hostilities.
Israeli security officials have issued thousands of permits to Gaza residents, allowing them to enter Israel every day to work in agriculture and construction. About 14,000 Palestinian workers from Gaza have been working in Israel over the past few months, the largest number since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in his 2007, and Israel has increased that number. to his 20,000.
Beyond its economic incentives, the Israeli military has also warned of the dire consequences of another major battle in Gaza. Military officials say civilian casualties are almost inevitable in military operations, as intelligence reports show Hamas tunnels and other military infrastructure built in the heart of residential areas in Gaza. I announced what I said.
In addition to the work permits, Israel has also authorized improvements in recent months to expand Gaza’s water and power supply and expand its import and export capacity.
Imports of medical equipment have increased and exports of agricultural products from Gaza and its fishing, textile and furniture industries have nearly doubled in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, military officials said.
But recently, after Islamic Jihad threatened to retaliate from Gaza for Israel’s arrest of one of the group’s senior commanders in the West Bank, Israel closed its border crossings, allowing people to enter and exit Gaza. Prevented movement of goods. Israeli residents living near the border have effectively been placed under a curfew and all roads have been closed in areas close to Gaza.
Maj. Gen. Ghasan Aryan, head of the military agency responsible for liaison on civilian affairs in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, delivered a stern message to Hamas on Friday asking whether it would support or not join the Islamic Jihad. outlined the options facing Hamas with respect to battle round.
“The responsibility lies with Hamas,” he said in a video published on the agency’s Arabic-language Facebook page. Are you interested?”
Hamas’ decision to stay on the sidelines so far echoed a brief round of cross-border fighting in 2019. His wife, Asmaa Abu al-Ata, launched hundreds of rockets into Israel during the Islamic Jihad. I urged him to shoot.
Over the next two days, Israel killed 34 people in Gaza. Hamas, however, has chosen not to participate, including in the scope of hostilities.
By contrast, it was Hamas that caused the last major Gaza fire in May 2021. Hamas has fired rockets into Jerusalem after weeks of clashes in the disputed city as tensions between Israel and Palestine escalated.