There is not the slightest chance of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas halting its three-week barrage of rockets against Israel in the foreseeable future, high-placed sources in Cairo, Washington and the IDF told DEBKAfile’s military sources Sunday night, July 6. They all agreed that Israeli-Gaza border tensions would continue to escalate in the absence of serious Israeli military punishment for cutting Hamas down.
Following this assessment, the Israeli Air Force went into its first serious action against terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip during Sunday night – not just bombing empty buildings, but hitting Hamas operatives. Seven were killed in Rafah and another two in Al Bureij.
The Hamas spokesman said that this was the biggest single Israeli hit against the Islamist group since the 2012 Pillar of Defense operation and “The enemy would pay dearly.”
A senior US intelligence official familiar with the sector offered the view that, so long as Israel did not show it was serious about a military reprisal – like for instance positioning two whole IDF armored divisions right up to the Gaza border – Hamas would not feel pressured enough to stop firing rockets and accept a truce. Every passing day without real punishment for kidnapping and murdering the Israeli teenagers, Gil-Ad Shear, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach, leaves the Islamists certain they have got away with it and in no mood to talk terms.
Read more at DEBKA FILE.