Commentary by Dr. Patrick Slattery– An interesting thing happened last week. The ISIS affiliated group “Omar Brigades” which has been fighting with Hamas in the Gaza Strip wanted to retaliate against Hamas for Hamas having killed one of their leaders. So what did they do? They lobbed a couple of rockets at Israel. The rockets did not harm to people or property, but Israel responded by attacking Hamas’ “terrorist infrastructure” in Gaza. This despite Omar Brigades’ claim of responsibility for the rockets. Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for whatever happens in Gaza. If this is not Israel and ISIS working together against Hamas, what it?
Incidentally, during the late 1990’s when Hamas was involved in suicide bombings, Israel would retaliate by bombing the government and police facilities of the Palestinian Authority, then under the leadership of Yassir Arafat. Back then, when Hamas actually was a terrorist organization, it worked in tacit cooperation with Israel against their then-common enemy Arafat. For Israel, it is not and never has been about stopping terrorism or seeking peace. It has always been about creating and exploiting divisions among its enemies and maintaining an “existential threat” that can be used to justify its genocide against other peoples.
Israel hits Gaza with airstrikes, closes crossings after more rockets fired
Israeli jets struck several sites in northern Gaza on Sunday, as Israel blamed Hamas for launching a missile into Ashkelon and ordered all Gazan border crossings to be closed. The Palestinians say a pro-Islamic State group is trying to provoke a war.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the Air Force has hit a number of “terror infrastructure sites” in the northern Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Post reports. This was in direct response to a rocket fired on Saturday from Gaza, which exploded outside of Israel’s southern Ashkelon region in an open space. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
It is the second time in days that Gaza has been bombed after obscure militants launched unguided missiles into Israel, with a similar scenario unfolding Thursday night. In both cases, the Omar Brigades, a radical Salafist group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Hamas, which is the dominant Palestinian group in Gaza, has claimed that the Salafists are trying to spark another major conflict in the region to seize power. Hamas has reportedly hunted down and killed a leader of the rival group, while a Twitter account thought to be run by the Omar Brigades said Sunday that the latest strike was “in protest” against the imprisonment of their fellow jihadists in Gaza.
However, Israel has said it will not take into account who exactly is responsible for attacks from a Hamas-controlled territory.