Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. [File].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The rocket from Gaza which targeted Israel over the weekend was likely launched by an extremist Salafi terror group in response to the recent tensions at the Temple Mount, Army Radio reported on Tuesday, citing defense establishment estimates.
The rocket strike on the Eshkol Regional Council on Friday was just the second such attack since Operation Protective Edge came to an end on August 26.
The defense establishment has noted a strengthening of extremist Salafi Islam in Gaza, challenging Hamas in the Strip, according to the report.
Israeli security sources said Sunday that Hamas has arrested five suspects
in the firing of the rocket. It is believed that Salafists fired the rocket against Hamas's wishes as part of its inner power struggle with Gaza's rulers.
The assessment in the defense establishment, according to Army Radio, is that sporadic "jihadi rocket fire," in response to events on the ground such as the Temple Mount tensions, are expected to continue to take place from time to time.
Israel believes that Hamas has deployed forces near the border fence to prevent rocket fire and maintain quiet. However, Hamas is continuing to launch test rockets into the sea and is also acting to renew weapons smuggling into Gaza.
According to the report, Hamas is smuggling in dual-use products that can be used both for rehabilitating the Strip's rockets and tunnels, as well as for civilian rebuilding purposes.
Hamas is working to rehabilitate its military capabilities, while telling the public in Gaza that its focus is on civilian rehabilitation, according to Army Radio.