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.”
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.