Just a day after an al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group in Egypt murdered an Israeli citizen near the porous border region, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip continued to wage a Hamas-endorsed war on Southern Israel, sparking concerns that Hamas is regressing back to its terrorist roots.
Meanwhile, Palestinian terrorists continued to launch dozens of rockets into Southern Israel, ending a several month cease-fire. The renewal of violence—at least 300 rockets have landed in Israel from Gaza since the start of 2012, according to reports—has led Israeli officials to worry that the unruliness in Egypt is motivating Palestinians to resume their war on the Jewish state.
Haaretz discussed the Palestine-Egypt conundrum in a recent report:
So what jolted Hamas? The latest round of fighting is connected, at least indirectly, to the tensions on the border with Egypt. The latest rocket fire began on the southern Negev on Friday, followed by the attack on the border fence on Monday, which killed Saeed Fashafshe, an Israeli citizen and resident of Haifa. Up to now, it is unclear which organization is responsible for the rockets – whether it was based in Gaza or perpetrated by a Bedouin group which identifies with global jihadists, or even in a co-production. Residents of Gaza said today that they did not establish mourning tents in honor of those who were killed near the Sinai fence, indicating that the terrorists were foreigners who came to Sinai from outside of Gaza.
On Monday, in several air strikes which took place after the attack near the fence, the air force killed another six Palestinians, who according to the IDF were involved in sniper fire, attempted rocket launching, and laying explosives. The Palestinians claim that all those who were killed were civilian. Among the dead was one member of Hamas. The rocket fire might simply be Hamas’ response to the deaths, although we must take other developments, ones we are not necessarily privy to, into account.
Of course, all this is taking place on the background of the Muslim Brotherhood’s likely victory in Egypt’s presidential elections, which strengthens Hamas’ position in Gaza. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, visited the location of Monday’s attack on the border with Sinai, and demanded Egypt act to enforce its sovereignty and halt the attacks. The instability in Egypt, the tensions in the Gaza Strip, and the possible fallout from the continual massacres of the Syrian regime against the opposition, signal a growing anxiety, the implications of which have already been felt within Israel’s borders.