In an op-ed published in The Algemeiner on Thursday, Joshua S. Block, CEO and President of the Israel Project, said that Hamas, the terrorist group in complete control of the Gaza Strip, “in its efforts to fulfill the terms of its genocidal charter, will continue to inflame the region with riots, fires, and terrorism.”
Over the last weeks, people in Gaza have sent hundreds of incendiary devices across the border fence with Israel, causing extensive damage. According to data released by the Knesset’s House & Environmental Protection Committees, over 6,000 acres of land have been destroyed in 412 separate fires, as of June 14.
“These are not a peaceful protest,” Block said, “These ‘kites’ are a form of terrorism meant to frighten, injure, and kill Jews.” According to Block, these devices also “mark a new phase in Hamas’s war against Israel.”
Hamas over the years has deployed various tactics of violence against the Jewish state, ranging from suicide bombings and kidnappings to rocket attacks and the building of terror tunnels. However, due to Israel’s effective missile defense system, Iron Dome, and modern barrier technology, Hamas has little leverage left.
Block therefore speculated that Hamas’s deployment of terror kites and the recent riots along the border fence with Israel, “could very well be cover for Hamas’ attempts to launch a daring and devastating terror attack into Israeli territory.”
“Hamas wanted people to forget that the misery of Gaza’s citizens is the direct result of their squandering of hundreds of millions in foreign aid on tunnels and rockets to attack Israel,” Block observed.
He continued: “They also wanted to win the public relations battle with Israel. By presenting the march as ‘peaceful,’ but knowing that no nation would tolerate having its borders breached, Hamas knew that the Jewish state would have to fight back — and that the deaths of purportedly unarmed ‘protesters’ would harm Israel’s image.”
Israel over the last weeks detected and destroyed several advanced tunnel infrastructures, including one described as the “longest and deepest” terror tunnel discovered to date, as well as a naval tunnel, which would have allowed Hamas “frogmen” to go out into the Mediterranean and launch an attack on Israel.
Block observed that while “the means may change (…) the goal of Hamas remains the same,” — the complete annihilation of the Jewish State. “The international community and all those who truly care about peace must unequivocally hold Hamas responsible for these cowardly acts of violence,” he concluded.
[Photo: Israel’s Foreign Affairs Min. / YouTube ]