Report: Three Years After Protective Edge, Gaza Border Quiet, but Hamas Readying Itself for Next War
Three years after Operation Protective Edge, Hamas is readying itself for another round of violence with Israel, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Friday.
The Gaza Strip-ruling Islamist terrorist group is digging tunnels, conducting rocket tests and providing its fighters with extensive military training, the report said.
However, at the same time, according to Shin Bet data cited by nrg, the past year has been the quietest on the Israel-Gaza border in recent memory.
Israel, nrg said, believes that Hamas is not interested in an escalation at the moment, preferring to focus on building its strength. But, the report went on to say, the ongoing dire economic situation in Gaza could spark a new military conflict.
The goal of Israel, the report noted, is to keep Hamas weak and deterred.
Meanwhile, a delegation of senior Hamas officials arrived in Tehran on Friday to attend re-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration.
Shi’ite Iran was once a main backer — both financially and militarily — of Sunni Hamas, but ties soured following the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, when they found themselves on opposite sides of the conflict and Hamas was forced to abandon its Damascus command post.
Recently, Iran and Hamas have been seeking to mend their relationship.
Also, earlier this week, according to Hamas’ English website, the group’s Tehran envoy Khaled al-Qaddumi met with Russian Ambassador to Iran Luan Jagaryan.
The Russian official “confirmed his country’s support for the Palestinian cause as a just issue,” the Hamas website said.