"Conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad is part of a widespread campaign against Iran"


Another tense day is awaiting residents of southern Israel and parts of its center, following the Gaza security warming that began with the assassination of senior Islamic Jihad Baha Abu al-Ata by the IDF, and the response of widespread gunfire to Israeli territory. In a joint statement by the PM and chief of staff at noon, Netanyahu said that Abu al-'Ata was a "ticking bomb" and that his elimination was on hold for a period until the final approval tonight.

In a conversation with Meade, IDF spokesman Yossi Copperwasser, head of the former military research division and currently a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and State, explains the term and says: Under targeted surveillance by the defense establishment for a period of time, "he says, adding:" Abu al-'Ata has been in a lot of trouble in the Gaza Strip in recent months as he led the Islamic Jihad's actions in opposition to the attempted raids, and in fact challenged not only Israel but also Hamas. He was responsible for several recent rocket attacks and rocket attacks, and was probably in the middle of preparing for another attack when the night was eliminated.

Is there any significance to the timing chosen for the counterterrorism?

"When it comes to a person who is under long surveillance and comes to the conclusion that he should be harmed, the appropriate time and place should be found while making sure it does not involve harm to the uninvolved, all of which is subject to his level of threat and immediacy."

Regarding the broader context of the situation in the Gaza Strip, Kupervser explains that what was behind Abu Al-'Ata's escalation was a dual goal: “Both to strike the Israelis and to undermine the order in the Gaza Strip while challenging Hamas. Whenever Hamas tried to transmit messages that they controlled on the ground, it made sure to shoot at Israel to ridicule and advance those two targets. ”

Did Abu Al-Ata act on his own or receive instructions from Tehran?

"I suppose there were no direct orders for Islamic Jihad how and when to act, but there is certainly an understanding of the spirit of things coming from the Iranian patron, and what developments he would like to see in the area. Apparently, Abu Al-Ata also realized that this was what he wanted to do now, as we see happening in other arenas such as Yemen or Syria, and he himself was the central axis around which the escalation was planned. Any such event that threatens to deteriorate into a broader campaign serves the interests of Iran, which wants to broadcast to the United States that it is still capable of hurting it and its allies despite the burden of sanctions. All the elements working under Qassem Suleimani and the al-Quds force are acting in this way, and so we have seen that jihad in Gaza has also increased activity in recent months. There is definitely a part of a wider campaign here that has no choice but to participate. ”

What are the operational capabilities of the organization?

“Although it is a small organization in relation to Hamas, it has units deployed throughout Gaza and has a significant presence in the Gaza Strip. For the most part, Islamic Jihad is aligned with Hamas, which, like it, is clearly Islamic in nature and has ties to Iran, but the tension between them sometimes leads to an independent policy. "

We also saw a shooting this morning towards Gush Dan and central Israel

"This reflects the need for Islamic Jihad to deter Israel. After Israel has hit one of his senior officials, he too wants to hurt things that he thinks are more sensitive and expensive to her. As the size of the blow he sustained, so did his response, so the organization's members initially began firing into the center of the country and did not wait for the situation to deteriorate. I believe that all decision makers and military leaders anticipated this and were fully prepared for such a scenario. ”

And where does Hamas stand regarding the current escalation?

“The situation in which Israel is hampering Islamic Jihad's infrastructure is convenient to Hamas to some extent, although they will of course not say so. Continuing the struggle in Israel is still an important goal of Hamas, but at the same time it is also investing heavily in strengthening its status as an effective ruler in the Gaza Strip. If it turns out that Hamas is unable to take control of Gaza, then the question again arises as to whether anyone controls the Strip at all and what it means. With each passing hour and the shooting continues these questions become more problematic. ”

Could there be a scenario in which Hamas joins the shooting?

“It can happen if Hamas feels they are unable to cope, so they will be comfortable joining. But in general, Hamas is not currently interested in a wide-ranging conflict, and in its view, the direction is still the regulation. Among those who interrupted it so far was Abu al-'Ata. "

What other scenarios can develop from the current situation?

“All kinds of directions must be taken into account and unexpected things can always develop, such as a rocket that suddenly falls and hits people. It should also be borne in mind that the act of elimination itself was done to prevent much worse escalation in the event of an immediate attack, and of course with the understanding that there will be a point of tension around the incident. We couldn't just sit around waiting for the attack to happen. At the moment, Israel is doing its best to prevent escalation and prevent harm to its citizens, rather than responding massively. If there are significant casualties, the chances of escalation will increase. ”

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