Israel’s defense establishment knows that the recent “trickles” of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel must be stopped before it becomes a routine occurrence. But while Israel has officially placed the responsibility for Wednesday night’s rocket fire on Gaza’s leadership, Hamas is having a hard time reining in Salafi and jihadist groups in the Strip.
Minutes after Wednesday night’s rocket fire, Hamas operatives rushed from their headquarters to find shelter, fearing Israeli retaliation strikes, which came early Thursday morning with as three militant training camps were targeted.
A senior Hamas official sent a message to Israel through Egypt, claiming that an ISIS-affiliated group, which it is currently at odds with, fired the rocket and was using Israel’s blaming of Hamas for all attacks coming from Gaza in an attempt to spark an escalation between the two sides.
Later on, a radical Islamist group sympathetic to Islamic state claimed responsibility for the attacks on Israel. Witnesses and medics said the predawn attacks on the two camps belonging to Hamas Islamists and the Islamic Jihad group caused some damage but no casualties.