Wednesday, August 24, 2016
The Israel Project “Daily Tip” – http://tinyurl.com/j6ancqb
A rocket was fired Sunday afternoon from Gaza into the Israeli border city Sderot, prompting an exceptionally muscular reaction from Israel in what some analysts have called a strategic turning point. Running counter to Israel’s usual tit-for-tat retaliation, the IDF seized the opportunity to attack dozens of Hamas infrastructure targets in the northern Gaza Strip over the course of two hours. The IDF launched about 50 strikes in total, using both tanks and aircraft.
“You can’t expect the State of Israel to allow [Hamas] to rearm itself, to steal money from the residents of Gaza. They are levying taxes and not constructing buildings, but tunnels,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman commented Tuesday morning at an army base in the Galilee. Indeed, as Hamas continues to build underground tunnels and invest its resources militarily – at the expense of its own people – Israel seems to have discarded its previous approach of deterrence in favor of a more proactive posture.
Even Hamas decided to comment on the apparent shift in tactic. "The escalation is the Israeli occupation's desire to create new equations in the Gaza Strip," Hamas's spokesman in the Gaza Strip, Sami Abu Zuhri, said on Sunday. A senior Israeli military source credited the new policy design to IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-General Gadi Eisnekot, which was then approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon.