Palestinian organizations remain silent and ignore rocket fire from southern Lebanon toward Israel • Israeli security officials blame Hamas for firing on from Lebanon And express concern about escalation from the Gaza Strip after the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice
Yoni Ben Menachem - Arab expert and Middle east Analyst
Hamas maintains silence over Israeli accusations that it was behind the launch of rockets yesterday from southern Lebanon toward Israel through Palestinian activists and with the consent of Hezbollah.
No organization has so far claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, according to Israeli security sources.
The rocket attack from Lebanon, without "fingerprints", was intended to maintain calm in the Gaza Strip during the Feast of Sacrifice and not to upset Egyptian intelligence in the middle of the mediation process it is conducting between Hamas and Israel.
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which is close to Hezbollah and Hamas, reported on July 20 that Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip conveyed messages to Israel through mediators, Egyptian intelligence and the United Nations that the difficult humanitarian situation in the Strip and escalation in East Jerusalem constituted a cross of the Red Lines.
The defense establishment fears that at the end of the victims' holiday, the terrorist organizations will resume their activities against Israel, probably by resuming operations on the perimeter fence on the border with the Gaza Strip, the so-called "nightly harassment" activity and possibly the "return marches" project.
This assessment is based on several reasons:
A. A dead end in the introduction of the monthly Qatari grant to the Gaza Strip. Hamas and the PA have rejected the new mechanism proposed by Israel for bringing Qatari money into the Gaza Strip through the UN and the PA banks. Qatari Ambassador Muhammad al-Madi has left the Gaza Strip and announced that he will continue talks to raise money after the Feast of Sacrifice. Thus, tens of thousands of needy families were left in the Strip during the 4 days of the holiday without the monthly grant of $100 per family.
B. Severe economic and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, there is no progress in talks to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip from the ruins of the last war, commercial activity is poor, markets are empty and there is a decline in cash purchasing power and rising unemployment.
C. Escalation on the Temple Mount and in East Jerusalem - There is strong criticism in the Palestinian street of Hamas for the fact that, contrary to its promises, it did not keep the new equation it created called "Gaza-Jerusalem."
D. About 1,700 Jews ascended the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av with police escort and even prayed there and sang the anthem "Hatikva" without the Hamas movement doing anything.
The Jerusalem police have once again begun forcibly evacuating hundreds of young people who gather in the evening at the Nablus Gate plaza, just as they did in the events that preceded "Operation Guardian of the Walls". The feeling in the Palestinian street is that Hamas kept quiet because it preferred silence during the Feast of Sacrifice this time and did not hesitate to spoil the holiday as it did during the last Eid al-Fitr.
The Palestinians' feeling is that Hamas has lost momentum and its achievements in the recent war against Israel are fading.
E. A dead end in talks for a new prisoner exchange deal - so far there is no breakthrough in Cairo talks with Egyptian intelligence not even about the first phase of the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas: providing accurate information on the situation of the four Israeli prisoners.
Hamas is well aware of the mood among the Palestinian public, so the organization's leader Ismail Baniya welcomed the residents of the Occupied Territories on the occasion of the Feast of Sacrifice while promising that his organization will continue to defend Jerusalem and that he will determine the time and place for the next confrontation against Israel.
He also promised that Hamas would not withdraw from the conditions and requirements it set regarding the exchange of prisoners with Israel.
Hamas is demanding a prisoner exchange deal during which 1,111 terrorists will be released, more than in the "Shalit deal" in 2011, which includes terrorist leaders and hundreds of murderous terrorists.
The question of the next round of fighting between Hamas and Israel is only a matter of time, the IDF has already made preparations for the next round of fighting, including the possibility of extensive ground operations within the Gaza Strip.
Bending hands between Israel and Hamas will continue after the Feast of Sacrifice with great potential for escalation, with all due respect to Egypt's and UN efforts to stabilize the ceasefire and achieve calm, Hamas cares only for its own interests and as we saw in Operation Guardians of the Wall has no problem initiating escalation to promote Its goals.