Israel Holding Hamas Responsible as Gaza Attacks Continue

Gaza rockets resumed. Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Following more rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel, the IDF hit back at Hamas in a counterstrike last Friday. Based on comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, expect that Israeli response to Gaza violence to continue as needed. “We are acting against Islamic Jihad, as it is our right to act against all terrorist elements; however, we have not absolved Hamas of responsibility for any offensive action against us originating from the Gaza Strip,” said Netanyahu in comments published by his office.

“This was and remains our policy. To this end, over the weekend the IDF acted in response to terrorist actions originating in Gaza. Thus it has been and thus we will continue—Hamas is responsible.”

On Friday, the IDF Twitter feed reported more Gaza rocket fire against Israel, noting there had been multiple attacks last week alone. The Twitter feed later also reported Israel’s response. “We just targeted a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip in response to the rocket fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians earlier tonight,” tweeted the IDF. Earlier last week, the Twitter feed said Israel hit multiple Hamas targets in response to Gaza rockets.

The simmering Gaza conflict follows a flare-up in November in which Islamic Jihad, one of the multiple terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip, launched hundreds of rockets at Israel in response to Israel’s assassination of a senior Islamic Jihad terror commander.

While Islamic Jihad was the force behind that escalation, Israel is now holding Hamas— as the governing authority of the Gaza Strip—accountable for new violence. Netanyahu pointed to international law as justification for the Israeli approach.

“One of the basic concepts of what used to be called ‘international law’… was that a government is responsible for its territory, in the sense that it was responsible for any attempted attack originating from its territory against another country,” said the Israeli premier. “We operate according to this principle.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, December 1, 2019)

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