Hamas stayed out of latest Gaza-Israel clash – for third time since 2019
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Israel’s arch enemy Hamas did not join in last week’s five-day Gaza-Israel clash between the Israeli military (IDF) and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group, marking the third time since 2019 that the rulers of the Gaza Strip have stayed out of a Palestinian fight against Israel, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports.
Israel’s Operation Shield and Arrow unfolded on May 9 when the IDF conducted a series of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip that lasted until 13 May. The operation began when the IDF killed three suspected leaders of the PIJ in a targeted assassination. For the third time since Israel’s Operation Black Belt against the PIJ in Gaza in 2019, Hamas again stayed out of the fighting.
While the main priority of the Iran-dependent PIJ is to attack Israel, Hamas is in charge of two million people in the Gaza Strip and has to consider the economic fall out of fighting with Israel.
“Unlike Islamic Jihad, Hamas rules territory and has responsibility for over two million inhabitants, and so has much more to lose from extended fighting with Israel,” TOI journalist Lazar Berman explained in his report.
“[Hamas] also has a long-term goal of building legitimacy both within Palestinian society and in the region, and replacing Fatah as the leading faction of the Palestinian national movement,” Berman added. “At times, firing rockets at Israel might serve that aim, but annual destruction and bloodletting in Gaza generally undermines its march toward credibility.”
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