Islamic Jihad Firing Gaza Missiles to ‘Embarrass’ Hamas

Gaza Missiles Have Virtually Nothing to Do With Israel

Israel launched a sort of obligatory attack on the Gaza Strip overnight, and has promised to keep doing so in the future. That’s more because it’s a politically popular thing to do, however, than it having anything to do with the rocket fire in Gaza.

Rather, the rocket fire is entirely about an internal rivalry in the tiny enclave, between the Hamas government and the Islamic Jihad movement, which was reportedly behind the attacks.

A top Islamic Jihad commander was killed in Gaza on Saturday, and the group severed ties with Hamas afterwards. The split set the stage for what could be open conflict between the two, except Hamas is much more powerful in Gaza.

Which is why missile strikes, designed to embarrass Hamas’ newly created anti-rocket force and likely to provoke Israel into striking Hamas targets, because Israel’s leadership is nothing if not predictably violent. Islamic Jihad’s rockets needn’t even hit anything, as indeed most rockets barely stray over the border and land in empty fields.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.