Hamas rocket tests launch fresh Israeli concerns

Hamas rocket tests launch fresh Israeli concerns
Analyst tells al-Araby al-Jadeed that Israel may be publicising concerns about tests in Gaza Strip to justify future military action.
2 min read
05 December, 2014
Hamas has rearmed despite the blockade, say analysts [AFP]
Israel is always watching the Gaza Strip, the site of three brutal wars in the past seven years. The last took place three months ago, lasted 51 days and left 2,200 people dead.

Over the past two weeks, Israeli satellites have reportedly monitored Hamas test-firing rockets into the sea. The "tests" are all over the Israeli news. Israeli army radio has reported they violate the ceasefire agreement that ended the last war.

However, there is nothing in the Egyptian-brokered agreement to prevent the group preparing for the next fight, something Hamas has not concealed it is doing.

     Hamas does not conceal its wish to develop a rocket that can hit Israel's heartland.

Hamas and its military wing, al-Qassam Brigades, have not commented on the Israeli accusations. However, Hamas does not conceal its wish to develop a rocket that can hit Israel's heartland.

In carrying out such, tests Hamas is showing it is preparing for the next battle. This seems imminent due to Israel's continuing siege, and the lack of progress in the rebuilding of Gaza. However, it is also showing that the restrictions imposed on it, including the buffer zone set up by Egypt, have not stopped the group from building its military capability.

"Israel wants to know everything that is happening in Gaza, including any preparations being made for a future confrontation, so it has no surprises," Amer Khalil, a Palestinian expert in Israeli affairs, told al-Araby al-Jadeed.

Khalil said that Israel may use the rocket tests to justify future military offensives in Gaza, for example bombing workshops used for manufacturing missiles.

"The reports may also be used to obstruct the reconstruction process, deflect demands to lift the siege and keep the crossings closed, and to support military action against the strip," he concluded.

By repeatedly talking about the threat posed by rockets Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is making sure his citizens are prepared for the next war.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.