(October 30, 2018 / The Tower) Israel has blamed a barrage of rockets aimed at Israel from Gaza on Friday night on Hamas and Iran, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.
“We hold Hamas responsible for everything coming from Gaza,” said IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. “All violence and provocations are Hamas’s responsibility. The humanitarian improvements made recently should have caused Hamas to rein in the terror, but it allows a violent atmosphere to continue.”
The IDF’s outgoing commander of the Gaza division, Brig.-Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, said last week that Hamas “dictates the level of violence along the border,” referring to the violent riots under the guise of the “March of Return,” which have been going since March 30.
The IDF reported that 30 rockets were fired into Israel, 10 of which were intercepted by Iron Dome missile-defense systems.
In response, Israel struck at 80 targets in Gaza, including “command posts, weapons-manufacturing facilities and a four-floor building housing Hamas’s general security agency,” the Post reported.
Conricus acknowledged that it was actually Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the second-largest terrorist group based in Gaza, that physically fired the rockets. PIJ, Conricus charged, operated “under guidance, instruction and incentives from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, based in Damascus.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last year that Israel would hold Hamas responsible for any terror attack launched from Gaza given the terror group’s complete military control over the territory.
Conricus made this point about Hamas more explicitly back in May, following a bombardment of more than 30 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel, saying “they have the ability, the control and the power to escalate or to de-escalate the situation, to rein in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and their own extremist factions, or to escalate the situation.”