JERUSALEM, Israel (BulgarianMilitary.com) – According to a research and an analysis of the publications and the comments in a number of media, including Russian ones, Israel is preparing for the worst-case possible scenario of action in the Gaza Strip, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The beginning of the holy month of Ramadan was overshadowed by the massive deterioration of the situation around the Gaza Strip. Last weekend, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) demonstrated its intention to use harsh methods in the “talk” with Israel, firing more than 600 rockets into the territory of the Jewish state on May 4 and 5. The Israeli authorities have announced the preparations for the next phases of the operation. The observers do not exclude the possibility that another major enemy country of Israel, Iran, is behind the attacks: a considerable part of the PIJ’s income is believed to have been received from Tehran.
“The security cabinet of Israel has ordered the Army to continue striking and to prepare for the next phases,” the Israeli Government Press Office said. “The highest priority is given to the security of the state and its citizens.”
Special attention was paid to the situation in Gaza even on the background of the Israeli parliamentary elections: the authorities expected that there would be provocations during the pre-election period. The elections, however, went relatively calmly. The current round of armed opposition with the Palestinian radicals almost coincides with Israel’s Independence Day – May 8 and with the preparations for the start of the Eurovision Song Contest – May 14. Moreover, last week in Cairo was set the date for a round of negotiations between the Palestinian factions for a long-term ceasefire.
The Israel Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that on May 4-5 the Palestinians fired more than 600 rockets into the territory of the Jewish state, 150 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defence system. “35 rockets exploded in densely populated areas as a result of which three Israelis were killed,” Rosenfeld wrote on Twitter. At the same time, the IDF’s press service notes that in response they have hit about three hundred military targets of the factions that control the Gaza Strip. Thus, the Army press service described “several tunnels and underground infrastructure of fighters, military camps, arms depots and workshops, and missile launchers” among the attacked objects.
The main target of the Israelis probably is the Islamic Jihad Movement, the force that is the most unwilling to negotiate in the coastal enclave. Al Jazeera, quoting the Gaza Health Ministry, notes that 22 Palestinians have died in Israeli attacks, and 146 others have been injured.
The goal of the Palestinians is obviously to obtain concessions from Israel that will allow for the concluding a peace agreement with the maximum possible support for the Palestinian resistance. This is the statement of one of the Palestinian commanders. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said in a conversation with the Arab press that the factions in Gaza “entered a phase of war with the Israeli occupation,” and “will not retreat until the blockade imposed on the sector 13 years ago is lifted.” According to him, the process of negotiations between the Egyptian parliamentarians and the Hamas and Islamic Jihad emissaries has not yet proved its effectiveness. “Israel rejected all the conditions proposed by the resistance,” said the commander.
The Jewish state has gradually softened its stance in the conversation with the Gaza fractions (mainly with Hamas): Israel even approved the tranches of Qatari money in the enclave. The Palestinians, however, do not at all ease their conditions. They want a port in Gaza and the delivery of humanitarian aid to be without ultimatums in the form of disarmament.
Read more: What Is Iran Doing in Syria?
The data on the financial links of Islamic Jihad and Iran give the Israeli experts the reason for claiming that the authorities of the Islamic Republic are behind the new escalation around the Gaza Strip. That’s the way the former major general and National Security Advisor of Israel, who has also been the head of the Research Department of Israeli military intelligence, Yaakov Amidror, believes the Tehran’s interest is to push Israel to a new major operation in Gaza by escalating the situation. This, according to the former intelligence officer, will give the Islamic Republic a free hand in Syria. Tehran’s plan is that “Israel should focus its attention on Gaza and not have the strength to fight the formation of an Iranian military machine in Syria,” Amidror concludes.
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Source: Focus Agency