Friday, May 6, 2016

Hamas Needs to Decide

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are shooting mortars from Gaza into Israel.

The mortar attacks are a direct result of Israel's discovery of another underground terror tunnel.

The logic works like this: Israel is searching for tunnels and Hamas is shooting at them to slow the search process down.

It is clear that Hamas and Israel do not want the situation to escalate into a war. But Hamas has a serious question to answer.

Because Israel is searching and has found two tunnels within ten days, Hamas is in danger of losing one of its most effective weapons.

Should Hamas abandon the weapon, or will they use it as they can in order to attack Israel before they lose it totally.

The reason Hamas does not want this to escalate is because they are not prepared for an all out conflict similar to the conflict of two summers ago. So Hamas is taking the middle position. They are hitting Israel and hoping not to escalate.

Israel struck back with their air force. Thus far this is not a significant change in the status quo. But it is a balancing act.

Hamas is counting on knowing the proper calculus - one that will not break the paradigm. If Hamas pushes too hard, it could force Israel's hand. And Hamas fully understands that. 

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