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May 27, 2015 12:47 pm

‘Escalation Unlikely’ After Gaza Grad Attack on Israel, Says Intelligence Monitor

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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A rocket being fired from the Gaza Strip. Photo: Twitter.

An escalation of violence is unlikely following the latest “rare” rocket attack from Gaza against Israel, said the intelligence monitor Levantine Group in a report on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Hamas, the terror group which rules Gaza, has sent letters to Israel and other Palestinian groups discouraging escalating violence following Israeli air strikes against Palestinian targets overnight on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s attack marked the first Grad-type projectile launched toward an Israeli target since the end of the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip last summer.

The Levantine Group contended that the attack stemmed from a feud among commanders in Gaza’s Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Hamas rival, and even followed a gun battle between strongmen in the terrorist organization.

The feud, which likely prompted the rocket attack against Israel, was “rare for an organization like Islamic Jihad,” said Levantine Group CEO Daniel Nisman.

“It shows these groups are not monolithic. Sometimes they can undermine each other … that is the dangerous thing about Gaza right now,” he said.

As countries like the US and Saudi Arabia continue to pump aid into Gaza ostensibly for reconstruction efforts following the devastation of last summer’s war, many Gazan groups still have “lots and lots of rockets and not much else.”

“They have control over rockets that can reach Tel Aviv … there’s a high level of tension,” said Nisman.

“[The rocket attack] upped the ante. One group could fire on Israel hoping that Israel will come in and take out its enemies,” he said.

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  • shloime

    the bottom line is that so long as hamas is still diverting aid to rebuild its strength, a flare-up is not in “palestinian” (i.e. “hamas”) interests, and they will make gestures to preserve the ceasefire.

    but the smaller terrorist groups need to assert their “credibility”, and will try to provoke incidents, for their own purposes.

    israel’s dilemma is how to maintain its deterrence, and not allow hamas to play “good terrorist, bad terrorist”, while at the same time not escalating a situation which hamas might not have started. (although hamas isn’t always truthful about their involvement, and has used the excuse of the smaller groups as a cover, for deniability.)

    so for now, the idf continues to bomb empty buildings and sports fields.