Israel on Saturday night hit multiple Hamas targets in Gaza, dismissing claims from terrorists that earlier rockets were accidentally fired at Israel by the weather. The Times of Israel reported that Gaza militants pointed to “weather conditions” as causing the rockets to launch on Saturday, not unlike a 2020 Israeli news report that lightning set off Gaza rockets over a year ago. However, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday brushed aside the reason why the latest rockets fired. Instead, he was troubled that they were aimed at Israel in the first place.
“I want to make something clear: All of Hamas’ stories about lightning and thunder, that repeat themselves winter after winter—are no longer relevant. Those who aim missiles towards the State of Israel will bear the responsibility,” Bennett was quoted by his office as saying.
The IDF Twitter feed said that two rockets were launched at Israel on Saturday morning, but that “according to protocol, no sirens were sounded and no interception took place as the rockets landed in the sea off the coast of central Israel.”
In response, Bennett said the Israeli Air Force hit “a series of targets in a Hamas rocket manufacturing complex” in Gaza and the IDF also attacked “ a number of Hamas positions on the Gaza border.” The IDF Twitter feed added that among the sites hit were “military posts used for terrorist activity.”
The weekend’s Gaza-Israel shooting exchange follows a prior shooting terror attack last Wednesday by Gaza militants that injured an Israeli civilian. The IDF Twitter feed reporting on the shooting also said that the Israeli military responded with IDF tanks hitting “Hamas military posts in northern Gaza.”
Not all is growing tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, however. The night before the Gaza shooting, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. According to an Israeli press release recapping the conversation, Gantz “emphasized the parties’ shared interest in deepening security coordination, maintaining regional stability and preventing terror and violence.”
Israel and the PA have long cooperated on security measures to thwart their shared enemy, Hamas. The Gaza-based terror group is the political archrival to the Fatah group that Abbas leads and heads the PA. In 2007, Hamas violently kicked the PA out of Gaza in a bloody coup. And in multiple times in just last week, Israel’s conflict with Hamas has been front and center, again.
While The Times of Israel, citing a report by Israeli news group Kan, said Israel thinks Islamic Jihad was the group actually behind Saturday’s fired rockets, Israel has long viewed the Gaza-ruling Hamas group as ultimately responsible for reigning in other terrorists in the coastal enclave.
The IDF Hebrew website underscored Bennett’s point about responsibility. Noted the IDF, in comments translated by Google: “The terrorist organization Hamas is responsible for what is happening in the Gaza Strip and bears the consequences of terrorist acts from the Gaza Strip.”
Regardless of what the weather is doing.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, January 2, 2022)