The reconciliation efforts between the Hamas terror group and the Palestinian Authority (PA) may be moving along, but Hamas has made it clear what’s not changing: their weapons. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem was quoted by the Ma’an News Agency as arguing on Saturday that their weapons “are legal” and are intended to defend Palestinians and take land they claim from Israel—“therefore, this should not be an issue to discuss.”
One day later, a rocket was fired from the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip at Israel. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed, no injuries were reported and the rocket ultimately landed inside of Gaza. Nonetheless, the Tweet noted that “this rocket fire endangered Israelis & violated Israeli sovereignty.” The IDF Spokesperson said that they responded with tank fire that destroyed a Hamas outpost.
“The IDF holds Hamas responsible for any terror activity perpetrated against Israel from the Gaza Strip,” tweeted the IDF Spokesperson.
The incident comes as the PA readies to reunify with the Hamas group and bring all the Palestinians under one government. This follows a decade of division between the sides following a bloody Hamas coup that kicked the PA-leading Fatah party out of Gaza. Since then, multiple reconciliation efforts between the sides have failed.
That makes the timing of the rocket attack of significance, since the PA does not claim credit for terrorism and Israel blamed Hamas. Ma’an reported that the PA held its first cabinet meeting in Gaza on Tuesday, but less than one week later a terrorist was already challenging the practical impact of the PA’s return to Gaza.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 8, 2017)