Following at least three attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza on Israeli targets in the past several days, the IDF briefly entered Gaza on Tuesday to destroy a building from where attacks were perpetrated.
IDF officials explained afterwards that the building had been used in the past by terrorists to attack Israel, including earlier Tuesday morning.
The three-story building, near Khan Younis and the former site of Gush Katif’s N’vei Dekalim, was knocked down by an army bulldozer, which penetrated some 500 meters over the Gaza-Israel border. The IDF forces also returned fire towards Arab forces that fired at them during the razing. No one was reported hurt on either side.
On Sunday, Hamas terrorists in Gaza fired mortar shells and missiles at IDF soldiers near Kibbutz Nachal Oz, some 20 kilometers to the northeast. No injuries were reported among the Israeli forces, who returned fire and reportedly hit a number of terrorists.
Six days ago, Gaza terrorists fired a Kassam rocket at Israel. The rocket landed uneventfully near Nachal Oz, causing sirens to sound in nearby kibbutzim and communities.
Earlier this week, two arms smugglers were killed in a tunnel collapse between Gaza and Egypt. Over the past two months, between six and ten such terrorists have been killed in five tunnel collapses. In addition, several Hamas terrorists were killed in Gaza in early May when a tunnel connecting Hamas sites collapsed.
Hamas Continues: Right of Return, '67 Borders, Israel Not Legitimate
Together with its renewed violence, Hamas continues to refuse any and all compromise with Israel. In an interview with the Egyptian newspaper A-Shuruk on Tuesday, senior Hamas leader Izat Al-Rishak said that only after a Palestinian state is established in all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza with its capital in Jerusalem, and only after the millions of descendants of Arabs who left Israel in 1948 are permitted to enter Israel, and without recognition of Israel as a legitimate state, will Hamas deign to agree to a long-term ceasefire with Israel.
Al-Rishak said Hamas is interested in working with all international elements and “instill within them that Hamas [and not Fatah] is the correct address in the Palestinian arena.”
Hamas appears to be scoring some successes to this end in Western Europe. “Hamas is an important player in the Middle East conflict and cannot be ignored,” said Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey on Sunday. After Swiss diplomats hosted Hamas representatives in Geneva two weeks ago, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, “Switzerland is not placing itself with those who support the moderate forces.”
In addition, Italian politician Romano Prodi has spoken of "engaging with moderates" within Hamas, while pro-Hamas positions in Britain are almost commonplace.