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Latest Gaza-Israel flare-up a war-game shift

The seeds for another war were sowed this week.


The massive Israeli attack on Gaza on Sunday night indicates that Israel is attempting to enforce new roles in the war game between the two sides. Indeed, Hamas defined the attack as an effort to “change the equation.”

It was the second attack within 10 hours against Hamas targets in Gaza, in response to the launching of a single rocket which landed Sunday at noon in Sderot and caused no injuries and no damage. A small jihadist group called “Ahfad a-Sahaba” (Friends of the Prophets), which defies Hamas authority, claimed responsibility for the attack on its Twitter account.

Within hours, the account was shut down.

First, Israel responded by launching few missiles and by tank fire. It was an expected and measured response as we’ve become accustomed to since the end of Operation Protective Edge two years ago. The essence of this kind of response was to send a message to the other side without causing too many casualties, in order to minimize the risk of a new round of hostilities.

After the short, limited attack, Hamas believed that Israel did what was expected, and believed the incident was behind them.

Thus Hamas was surprised when around 10 p.m., Israeli warplanes launched a second and more forceful retaliatory attack. For two


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