Hamas launches missiles toward the sea ‘in warning to Israel’

Hamas's message was that the calm along the border with the Gaza Strip won’t last.

Palestinian members of al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, display home-made rockets during an anti-Israel military parade, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 21, 2016 (photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
Palestinian members of al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, display home-made rockets during an anti-Israel military parade, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 21, 2016
(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
Hamas fired several missiles toward the Mediterranean Sea on Monday morning in a warning to Israel that calm along the border with the Gaza Strip will not last.
The rockets, at least eight of them, were a “message” to Israel that armed groups “would not remain silent” in the face of the continued blockade and “aggression,” a source close to Hamas was quoted as saying by AFP.
Millions of dollars in aid payments by Qatar and an unofficial ceasefire have been key to maintaining quiet in the South, which has been relatively calm in recent months.
Two weeks ago, the Qatar Committee for Reconstruction of Gaza announced it would pay its monthly assistance of $100 each to 100,000 families.
The uptick in violence is believed to be due to Hamas’s concern that Qatari might not continue past September.
The rocket fire came hours after the IAF struck Hamas observation posts in northern Gaza near Beit Hanun in response to the launching of incendiary balloons into southern Israel over the course of the day.
Dozens of incendiary and explosive balloons have been launched into the South in recent days. The Israel Police has defused explosive devices attached to balloon clusters, including in Arad, some 80 km. from Gaza.
On Monday, several fires and explosions in the South were believed to be caused by incendiary and explosive balloons.
Last Thursday, the IDF launched retaliatory strikes against targets in northern Gaza in response to balloons that ignited several fires in the South.
“During the day, explosive balloons were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory,” the IDF said in a statement last Thursday. “In response, a short while ago, an IDF fighter jet and an IDF aircraft struck infrastructure used for underground activities of the Hamas terrorist organization in the northern Gaza Strip.”
The firing of the missiles on Monday by Hamas came as tensions continue to rise along the southern border, reportedly due to concerns that the ceasefire agreement between Israel and the terrorist group could collapse.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Gaza’s second-most-powerful group, threatened on Sunday that Israel “will bear the consequences of anything that happens to the residents or farmers [of Gaza] as a result of the escalation.”
The warning came after the IDF fired smoke shells into Gaza to evacuate civilian workers who had been working on the perimeter fence and were targeted by gunfire near Kissufim.
Soldiers hurried to the scene of the incident. They and the workers were unharmed.


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