Palestinian terrorist 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas has stepped up its rocket fire in recent weeks in order to solidify its
status as the Palestinian faction most devoted to the struggle against Israel,
an expert on terrorism and strategic affairs said on Sunday.
of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University said that
the escalation does not mean that Hamas is goading the IDF into launching a
second Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.
“They are the flag-carriers
of the struggle against Israel, this is the thing that makes them special,”
Elran said. “This is what preserves their existence; the fact that they are not
like Fatah. So they have an interest to maintain the tension and escalate the
situation, but they don’t want a fullscale escalation that will lead to Cast
Elran added “there’s also the element of reaction, they will say
that we’re the ones that started this round and so they are just
He added that another consideration for Hamas is that they are
interested in strengthening their position against Fatah in case contacts
between the two continue.
On the other hand, Prof. Hillel Frisch from the
Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University said he wasn’t
convinced that Hamas had any concrete strategy driving their increased rocket
“When these things happen, you can always speculate that maybe they
want to show they are part of the struggle or the opposition to Israel, all
types of theories can be devised. I don’t think there’s a strategy based on
internal Palestinian politics.”
Frisch said it could very well just be a
tit-for-tat between Israel and Hamas that has gotten out of hand for the past
week, adding “most of our history with Hezbollah when we were in Lebanon was