Photo: Reuters
Hamas rally in Gaza
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters
Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin
Photo: Reuters

'Hamas rules Gaza street'

Defense officials say Palestinian Authority "no match" for Hamas, believe current escalation due to internal Palestinian politics; rocket attacks in Gaza, Negev continue

GAZA - As much as Israel is trying to create conditions that will allow the Palestinian Authority to conduct its affairs in an orderly manner to facilitate dialogue with Israel, security officials believe it is Hamas that rules the Gaza street.


One security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Ynet the current escalation is part of Hamas’ preparation for the upcoming election, and has nothing to do with Israeli actions.


“It certainly appears the Authority is no match for the terrorist organization. Recent nights have showed, yet again, that Hamas attacks have no relation to Israel at all,” he said.


“Israel cannot stand idly by,” Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told Ynet. “We will do everything possible to protect our citizens.”


Rockets continue


Mofaz is expected to spend most of his briefing session Thursday discussing Hamas activities in Gaza, as well as what Israel calls Palestinian refusal to combat the organization’s terror activities.


The minister is expected to instruct the defense establishment to act strongly against those responsible for more than 30 mortars and Qassam rockets that have been fired at Jewish communities in Gaza and into sovereign Israel since Wednesday afternoon.


Massive reaction could bring downward spiral


Officers in the IDF Southern Command say the army is ready for a “massive reaction” to the attacks, and said the Palestinians have crossed a red line by allowing Hamas to operate openly.


But as of Thursday morning, Israel appeared unwilling to jeopardize the disengagement plan by responding strongly to the attacks. A senior officer in the IDF Intelligence Corps told Ynet a strong Israeli response could lead to a downward spiral.


“No one wants that,” he said.


פרסום ראשון: 05.19.05, 10:54
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