Israeli airstrikes on Gaza targets killed nine terrorists and destroyed several underground rocket launchers. The Jerusalem Post notes:
At least 150 rockets have landed in Israeli territory since June 14 when the West Bank operation to find three Israeli teens kidnapped and murdered by Hamas commenced, the IDF said Sunday.
One Grad hit Beersheva, and Gaza terrorists fired an anti-tank rocket at an IDF unit patrolling the border. According to the Times of Israel, no injuries were reported and the IDF returned fire. The Israeli cabinet’s discussing possible retaliation. More at Haaretz‘s live-blogging.
The latest Gaza escalation isn’t a function of “resistance,” but of cash flow. Avi Issacharoff explains:
It would appear as if Hamas’s weakness in Gaza and the renewal of rocket fire by the Islamist group stem from the salary crisis and the failure of the reconciliation deal with Fatah. At present the organization does not possess the means to pay its people’s salaries. Its greatest concern is that public frustration in Gaza will ultimately be directed at its members. Perhaps, then, Hamas feels it’s better to create tension with Israel (not a full-scale escalation) in a bid to increase pressure on Egypt to permit the transfer of funds or salaries to the Gaza Strip.
On Friday evening, an anonymous senior Hamas official spoke to the Palestinian Sawa news agency. He said that “those who expect Hamas to stop the rocket fire (against Israel), should turn to (Palestinian Authority Prime Minister) Rami Hamdallah.” He added that the situation in the Gaza Strip was the consequence of not paying Hamas clerks’ salaries.
In other words: Salaries in exchange for calm.
Indeed, the Times of Israel reports that when Mahmoud Abbas called Khaled Mashaal about dialing down the rocket fire, this was Mashaal’s response:
Mashaal, for his part, requested that Abbas work to strengthen the Hamas-Fatah unity pact, even as other Palestinian officials demanded that the Palestinian Authority dismantle the Hamas-backed government.
Don’t tell me the rocket fire is related to the IDF’s “heavy handed” search for the kidnapped teens or Mohammed Khdeir.