Palestinian analyst: Israel telling Hamas senior leaders are targets

Dr. Adnan Abu Amer, an analyst for Israeli matters in Gaza, claimed that the attack against a Hamas post with senior Hamas officials present at the time “is a message that Israel has the upper hand.”

By YASSER OKBI/MAARIV
August 7, 2018 17:38
The sun sets over the Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli side of the border May 15, 2018

The sun sets over the Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli side of the border May 15, 2018. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

 
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Dr. Adnan Abu Amer, a political analyst in the Gaza Strip, stated Tuesday the cross-border violence between Hamas and Israel constitutes a warning to the senior echelon of the terrorist organization.

In response to open fire by Hamas terrorists toward IDF forces in the north of the Gaza Strip, an IDF tank targeted the post from which snipers fired on Tuesday. No IDF soldiers were injured in the incident. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in response, “the IDF will act against any offense and every attempt to attack our forces, and considers the Hamas terrorist organization as responsible for everything happening in and out of the Gaza Strip.”

According to reports in the Gaza Strip, the three senior Hamas leaders who were present at the post during the event were Hamas Deputy Chairman Saleh al-Arouri, Mahmoud al-Zahar and Ahmed Bahr.

“In an IDF premeditated attack towards a Hamas outpost containing senior officials of the organization, Israel is relaying a serious message to the organization in Gaza that its senior members are being tracked and targeted,” said Abu Amer. “The occupation’s message has no basis and is detached from reality. The targeting attack, in the midst of talks to achieve calm, was in order to relay a message that Israel has the upper hand.”

The Palestinian analyst added Israel knows that Egypt will do everything in its power to prevent an escalation, but the IDF’s action proves that “any hudnah (cease-fire) attained between the sides would be a weak one.”

The Palestinians reported two Hamas militants were killed during the attack, both from the Jabalya refugee camp. Ahmad Morjan and Abed el-Hafeth el-Sillawi, both 23 years old, were members of Hamas’s military wing, the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades. Hamas claims the fire from the post was not deliberately aimed at the IDF, but part of a training routine.

Palestinian sources reported “the attacked outpost was active in preparation for the end of the brigade’s combat course.” One report said the three senior Hamas officials were present to witness the end of the course. Terror organizations in the Gaza Strip called for revenge, claiming, “the occupation must not be permitted to change the status quo; fire for fire and blood for blood.”

Translated by Hadas Labrisch

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