Both Egypt and Israel have reemphasized to Hamas that the Palestinian terror group will be held responsible for violence emerging from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, with various outlets having reported in recent days on signals sent by Cairo and Jerusalem designed to underline that sentiment.
Egyptian security officials told Hamas that Cairo will not tolerate any use of tunnels to smuggle goods and weapons between the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio reported Friday.Egypt also warned Hamas that it will hold the Islamist group responsible for any incidents on the Gaza-Egypt border.
Cairo in general, and the Egyptian army in particular, has long blamed Hamas for facilitating the movement of jihadist personnel and materials into the Sinai. Meanwhile the Israeli Air Force (IAF) last week attacked what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) described as “a rocket launching site” posing “an imminent threat against Israel.”
Moments ago, an IAF aircraft targeted a rocket launching site in the #Gaza Strip in order to eliminate an imminent threat against #Israel
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 28, 2014
Palestinian media outlets reporting on the strike noted that “Israel says it holds [Hamas], which seized power in Gaza in 2007, responsible for such attacks.” Hamas’s efforts to enforce quiet along its borders with Egypt and Israel have been uneven. The group has occasionally made a point of theatrically pulling security forces back from the Israeli-Gaza fence – a stunt earlier this month was one example – but The New York Times reported last week that Hamas’s “limited choices in confrontation with Israel” have induced the group to sharply limit the possibilities for escalation with Jerusalem.
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