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June 22, 2018 3:37 pm

‘New Rules of Engagement’: Hamas Provokes Israel With Incendiary Aerial Devices

avatar by Steven Emerson

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Palestinians prepare to fly a kite loaded with flammable material, near the Israel-Gaza border, June 4, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

Hamas is attempting to create “new rules of engagement” in its war against Israel, as the terrorist organization recognizes that Israel’s military will likely avoid direct responses against terrorist cells launching incendiary kites and balloons into Israeli territory. This tactical and strategic shift is outlined in a new Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report.

On Tuesday, the Israeli Air Force struck several Hamas military targets, after terrorists deployed incendiary kites and balloons that caused severe fires in Israeli communities on the Gaza border. Hamas escalated the violence by launching 45 mortar shells and rockets at Israel. Two days earlier, Hamas fired three rockets into Israel following Israeli strikes responding to Palestinian arson terrorism.

This Hamas-provoked tit-for-tat resembles similar sequences of events that took place two weeks ago in a violent escalation between the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Israel.

Israel has increasingly relied on drones in an attempt to take down incendiary kites and balloons. Yet many of these devices continue to land on Israeli territory, sparking destructive fires that burn thousands of acres of crops and natural forest area — and threaten human life. Containing the fires is a major strain on Israel’s resources, and significantly disrupts civilians’ lives. So far, Israel has relied on firing warning shots at Palestinians launching these incendiary devices.

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Hamas and PIJ spokesmen have referred to the terrorist rocket fire as a “new equation” with Israel, and “an attack in return for an attack.” The terror groups’ military wings released joint messages — in Arabic and Hebrew — stressing this approach. The main Palestinian terrorist groups present themselves as a “resistance” to Israeli “aggression,” but they are the ones provoking these latest rounds of fighting by flying incendiary devices into Israel in the first place.

Hamas began encouraging and planning this new method of arson terrorism during the onset of violent border riots on the Gaza border at the end of March.

The vast majority of Palestinian fatalities during violent demonstrations on the Israel-Gaza border were members or affiliates of terrorist organizations — primarily Hamas.

Of the 112 reported deaths from March 30 to May 14, 93 people (83 percent) belonged to or were associated with terrorist groups.

Thsee findings, supported by official statements from Hamas leaders, prove that Hamas was the driving force behind the deadly protests.Hamas also orchestrated several attacks at the border, and encouraged Palestinians to infiltrate Israel.

Any attempts to portray the riots as “peaceful protests” defies the evidence and Hamas’ own leadership.

Click here to read the full Meir Amit report.

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