Iran is attempting to use jihadist surrogates in the Gaza Strip to cause a mass casualty event in Israel that would provoke an Israeli ground operation, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
The officials explained Hamas fears the damage a ground operation will cause to its terrorist apparatus and has been careful for now not to escalate the conflict with a game-changing attack that would leave Israel with no choice but to mount a ground offensive.
Iran has been attempting to pressure the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad and other Gaza-based organizations to carry out an event that would draw Israel into a ground war, such as with successful missile attacks on Tel Aviv.
Iran has been trying to convince Islamic Jihad to defy Hamas’ command-and-control and launch an overwhelming number of missiles at once into central Israel. While Iron Dome’s missile defense capabilities are classified, it is widely assumed the missile batteries are not capable of downing a large salvo, such as a dozen incoming missiles aimed at the same area.
One rocket was fired from Lebanon on Friday morning on a village in the Upper Galilee. There were no injuries in the attack.
Artillery fire was directed at the area from which the rocket was fired, a senior army source said.
The rocket was not fired by Hezbollah but by a small radical organization in Lebanon, Maj.-Gen. (res). Amos Gilad, director of Political-Security Affairs at the Defense Ministry, told Channel 2.
Also on Friday morning, at around 3:30 a.m. sirens rang out in Haifa and Hadera. The IDF is examining that incident.
Hamas's armed wing has warned airlines that it intends to target Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport with its rockets from Gaza and has told them not to fly there, a statement by the group said on Friday.
"In the light of Israel's ... attacks on the residents of Gaza Strip ... The armed wing of Hamas movement has decided to respond to the Israeli aggression and we warn you against carrying out flights to Ben-Gurion airport, which will be one of our targets today because it also hosts a military air base," the statement said.
Several rockets from the Gaza Strip were fired toward the greater Tel Aviv area on Friday morning. The Iron Dome defense system intercepted three projectiles. No injuries were reported.
Incoming air traffic was halted from entering Israeli air space as sirens were sounded in the area, an airport spokesperson told The Jerusalem Post. Flight traffic was resumed as normal after the sirens subsided.
After the horrors of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, how insane do you have to be to fire missiles directly at a major nuclear facility? No matter what side you are on in the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, everyone should be able to agree that it is utter madness for Hamas to fire rockets at the Dimona nuclear
installation in the Negev. The intent, of course, was to destroy the Dimona facility and create a horrific nuclear disaster in the heart of Israel. Fortunately, the area is heavily protected by the Iron Dome missile defense system and none of the rockets did any damage. And it is questionable how much damage to the facility that Hamas missiles could actually do. But that is not the point. What matters is that Hamas is trying to do it. With each passing year, Hamas rockets are becoming more advanced, more accurate and more powerful. And when Hamas fires some of their best rockets at a major nuclear facility, they are committing an act of all-out war. If Hamas continues to do this, it could spark a major regional war in which countless numbers of people could die. Is that what they want?
There has been a lot of criticism of Israel in the mainstream media in recent days, but much of it is quite hypocritical. Just imagine what would happen in the U.S. if another country fired just one missile at New York City or at one of our nuclear reactors. If that happened, "glass parking lot" would suddenly be on the lips of tens of millions of Americans all over the country, and the U.S. military would rapidly be preparing for an absolutely devastating response.
Well, it isn't just one missile that has been fired at Israel.
In recent days, dozens of rockets were fired at Israel before there was any response from the Israeli military at all.
And more than 225 rockets have been fired at Israel since Operation Protective Edge started on Monday night.
At one point, an average of about one rocket was being fired into Israel every ten minutes.
And many of these rockets are being shot directly at Israeli population centers with the intention of killing civilians. It is a miracle that we have not seen many casualties so far.
But where Hamas has really stepped over the line is by firing at the Dimona nuclear facility. The fact that Hamas is attempting to create a nuclear holocaust is essentially an act of genocide. The following is how the Jerusalem Post described the attack...
And as Breitbart has pointed out, what Hamas has just done is actually an act of nuclear terrorism as defined by the United Nations...
If Hamas keeps launching rockets, it could spark a major regional war. Just consider what Shimon Peres is saying about the conflict...
“We didn’t start the war today, they started it already several days ago,” he told CNN. “We asked them to stop it... We waited one day, two days, three days and they continued, and they spread their fire on more areas in Israel.”
He also said that a ground offensive on Gaza “may happen quite soon”. Referring to rockets being fired from Gaza, he added: “If they will stop for example tonight, there won’t be any ground entrance - but if they will continue, sooner or later this will be the response.”
And there are news reports today that Israel has already warned 100,000 Gaza residents living in cities near the border with Israel to leave their homes.
That means that a ground invasion could be imminent.
Nobody should want to see a major war between the Israelis and the Palestinians, because if one does happen it will be extremely bloody.
The Middle East is a powder keg that could erupt at any moment.
A single wrong move could bring about a nightmarish conflict that results in countless deaths.
Torn apart by a political crisis and surrounded by armed conflicts, Lebanon will become the next target for ISIS and other terrorists, said Foreign Minister Nohad Machnouk. Earlier this week, 28 were charged with planning suicide attacks.
"We must admit that what has happened in Iraq has caused great excitement among these groups that believe they can benefit from the Iraqi experience," the Sunni Muslim politician told Reuters.
"They think they can carry out similar operations in Lebanon. But so far, in the last two months, it is clear that the security awareness has been able to obstruct this. Yet, the danger of bombings is still there.”
The problems are exacerbated by political turmoil in Lebanon, which went without a government for a year until February, has still not held presidential elections scheduled for May, and is ruled by a parliament whose mandate expires in August.
Shortly after rocket alert sirens were sounded on Friday morning across central Israel, including at the Ben-Gurion International Airport, Hamas' armed wing has warned airlines that it intends to target the airport with its rockets from Gaza and has told them not to fly there.
"In the light of Israel's ... attacks on the residents of Gaza Strip ... The armed wing of Hamas movement has decided to respond to the Israeli aggression and we warn you against carrying out flights to Ben Gurion airport, which will be one of our targets today because it also hosts a military air base," a statement from Hamas said.
The militant group said it had issued the warning to the airlines so that they could avoid injury to their passengers.
Although the cabinet meeting convened Thursday evening ended without an announcement on a ground offensive in Gaza, a senior IDF official says the military is massing forces on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip in preparation for such an operation.
So far, the Israeli offensive on terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip has been carried out from the air, with nearly 900 targets being hit so far in Operation Protective Edge, the official said Thursday night.