Report: Hamas directly responsible for escalation

IDF believes Hamas is worried about anti-tunnel operations on Gaza border, escalating tensions to slow demolition work.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

IDF operations in Gaza
IDF operations in Gaza
IDF spokesperson

Hamas is responsible for the latest wave of mortar attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip, security experts believe, a departure from recent terror attacks in the area.

IDF officials said on Wednesday that the attacks were a clear message to Israel that Hamas would not accept any major operation to eradicate its massive terror tunnel networks.

While there has been sporadic rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip in the two years since Operation Protective Edge, hitherto it has primarily come from competing terror organizations within Gaza, and not Hamas itself.

Wednesday’s escalations promoted the IDF to declare the Nahal Oz area near Gaza a closed military zone, following threats by Hamas to continue its attacks.

Blaming Israel for the recent violence, Hamas officials warned that the Jewish state would pay a heavy price for escalations along the Gaza border. A Hamas spokesperson, Moshir al-Masri warned Israel not to test Hamas’ patience.

“The enemy needs to understand that the more it increases its crimes, the stronger our response will be.”