Hamas has seen its internal and regional position slip to such an extent that U.S. analysts are now calling on policymakers to deliver a death blow to the Iran-backed terror group. It is unpopular at home and is being stymied abroad.
The fear now is that Hamas will try to bolster its image by successfully conducting terror attacks against Israel. The IDF has noticed a spike in terror activity along the border of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip:
An IDF D9 armored bulldozer drove over two explosives planted along the border between northern Gaza and Israel on Monday, setting off both bombs… The bombs were set off by the weight of the vehicle, and were not activated by remote control. The source added that the incident represented an unusual upsurge in border attacks. It came three days after a remote-controlled explosive was detonated by Gaza terrorists in the vicinity of soldiers carrying out routine missions along the border.
The Long War Journal recently reported that Hamas had sought to target Jerusalem’s popular Mamilla Mall. The plot was foiled:
According to the Shin Bet, a number of Palestinians were arrested several weeks ago in connection with the terror plot. Two of those arrested, Ahmad Rishak and Ismail Abu Mfalfal, lived in East Jerusalem and worked as janitors at the upscale Mamilla Mall, which was the intended target. A third arrested Palestinian, Hamdi Hasneen Hamdi Romana … was said to be a Hamas terrorist based in Ramallah who had an explosives lab in his home as well as instructions on how to build bombs. Romana, whose father was also said to be a Hamas operative, was also responsible for recruiting the two janitors.
Israeli officials have linked some of the plots to Fathi Hamad, Hamas’s Interior Minister in the Gaza Strip.
[Photo: David Berkowitz / Flickr]