Hamas is attempting to create “new rules of engagement” in its war against Israel, as the terrorist organization recognizes that Israel’s military will likely avoid direct responses against terrorist cells launching incendiary kites and balloons into Israel territory. This tactical and strategic shift is outlined in a new Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report.
On Tuesday, Israel’s air force struck several Hamas’ military targets after terrorists deployed incendiary kites and balloons that caused severe fires in Israeli communities on the Gaza border. Hamas escalated the violence by launching 45 mortar shells and rockets at Israel. Two days earlier, Hamas fired three rockets into Israel following Israeli strikes responding to Palestinian arson terrorism.
This Hamas-provoked tit-for-tat resembles similar sequences of events that took place two weeks ago in a violent escalation between the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Israel.
Israel has increasingly relied on drones in an attempt to take down incendiary kites and balloons. Yet many of these devices continue to land on Israeli territory, sparking destructive fires that burn thousands of acres of crops and natural forest area. Containing the fires is a major strain on Israel’s resources and significantly disrupts civilians’ lives. So far, Israel relies on firing warning shots at Palestinians launching incendiary devices.