It looks like the typical flareup between Israel and Hamas–but it isn’t. I discussed this a few minutes ago on KQV Radio in Pittsburgh with host P.J. Maloney.
Hamas is firing mortar shells at Israeli forces operating on the border–and across it–looking for tunnels Hamas has built underneath. It’s the new Hamas war strategy–tunnels to send terrorists directly into Israel to kill and capture soldiers and civilians. Gaza militants have also been firing rockets into Israel, but as the Hamas-Israel conflict in 2014 showed, Israel has an answer to that–its Iron Dome system to shoot down rockets headed for populated areas. Hence the new tunnel strategy.
Now that strategy is in trouble, with the capture of a Hamas tunnel expert, Mahmoud Atawa. He’s been telling his Israeli interrogators where the tunnels are, the Israelis are going after them–and Hamas is trying to stop them, unsuccessfully.
This is the place to point out that the siophisticated attack tunnels are sucking up much of the building supplies that are shipped into Gaza, ostensibly to rebuild housing destroyed in the 2014 conflict. Instead, many Gazans are still homeless as the concrete goes underground.
Hamas is signalling that it doesn’t want a new war, while Israel is saying it’ll keep going after the tunnels. Stay tuned…