Hamas initiated the latest round of fighting to try and alleviate the distress it has found itself in recent months, a senior security source said on Tuesday.
In the West Bank, the organization’s position has been damaged by the army’s response to the kidnap and murder of three Israeli youths in June, which resulted in the arrest of hundreds of Hamas members, and raids on weapons caches and against its civilian and economic networks.
In the Gaza Strip, too, the Islamist movement is feeling increased pressure, the source said.
As a result, Hamas is “seeking to achieve an accomplishment,” he said. “Hamas had high expectations two months ago. It had just joined a Palestinian unity government [with Fatah]. Now, it finds itself in a poor situation. It has gotten poor results from the kidnapping, its position in terms of Palestinian security prisoners has worsened [due to the arrest of hundreds of Hamas members last month], and its sovereignty in Gaza has sustained blows,” he continued.
“Hamas is under pressure, and this has caused it to begin shooting [rockets and mortars].
Its status among the public [in the Strip] is also problematic.
In the middle of Ramadan, it has no good news to offer Palestinians recently,” the source said.
Hamas has been directly and indirectly orchestrating the growing rocket salvos from Gaza, which reached a peak on Monday night, when many dozens of rockets were launched within an hour.
“Hamas will always want to be the one that fires the last rocket, and to be able to claim that Israel is deterred. For its part, Israel will gradually increase the scope of its military operation, to obtain deterrence and damage Hamas,” the source said.