Israel fears that Gaza-based terrorists will try to disturb the international event with a missile attack, and has deployed Iron Dome defense systems throughout the country.
By Baruch Yedid, TPS
The probability of another violent attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip is growing, as tensions in the Persian Gulf between the US and Iran mount and as the Eurovision song contest’s finals near.
The Eurovision contest is slated to take place in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. Israel fears that Gaza-based terrorists will try to disturb the international event with a missile attack, and has deployed Iron Dome defense systems throughout the country.
Hamas, the terror organization that rules the Gaza Strip, is facing immense internal pressure, even after the Qataris infused $15 million into the Strip on Monday. Some 108,000 families received only $100 each. Therefore, while negotiating for a long-term ceasefire with Israel, Hamas is also threatening to attack it.
The Arabs will mark Nakba Day on Wednesday, and mass protests are expected to take place on the border with Gaza. The terror groups have called on millions to arrive at the fence, and have threatened Israel that they will attack it with rockets if Israel harms the rioters.
The possibility of human losses is high, and therefore the prospects of an attack on Israel grow. Sixty-two Gazans were killed last year in violence on the Gaza border on Nakba Day, which was also utilized to protest the US’ relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem.
The Arabs mark Nakba Day on the date on which Israel declared its independence, a historic event they perceive as a “catastrophe.”
Tens of Thousands Expected at Gaza Border Riots
The Nakba events are planned to take place after prayers at the mosques, and Hamas has organized transportation for tens of thousands who will be pushed to march on Israel’s border. Hamas and other terror groups have been working hard to promote the events through social media and have produced clips and songs, including clips directly threatening the Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv.
In the meantime, tensions between Iran and the US are increasing, especially after Saudi tankers were attacked in the Persian Gulf, reportedly by elements supported by Iran. The US has begun to dispatch more military forces to the region.
It is hard to foresee how this drama will play itself out, but an explosion in the Persian Gulf will send shock waves to Gaza and then Israel.
The Islamic Jihad, Iran’s proxy in Gaza, is expected to launch a broad attack against Israel in an attempt to divert attention from Iran to the Strip.
The terror group, which initiated the attack on Israel last week, during which over 700 rockets were fired at Israel and four Israeli were killed, has ordered its forces to remain on high alert.
Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhalah is considered a loose cannon who takes orders only from Tehran and has complete disregard for the situation in Gaza. Al-Nakhalah is currently in Beirut and has reportedly severed ties with Egypt, traditionally the mediator between Israel and the Strip.
In an interview with the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen TV station in Lebanon last week, al-Nakhalah claimed that the IDF shot at demonstrators during the weekly border protests and the Islamic Jihad was forced to respond, and that led to the latest attack on Israel.
He added that if Israel uses violence or opens fire during the March of Return on Nakba Day, during which, he said, tens of thousands of Gazans will participate, the “resistance” will “defend the Palestinian people.”
Hamas has reportedly been trying to steer the Islamic Jihad away from attacking Israel again in the hopes of achieving a ceasefire, with no success.
Entire region in danger of Conflagration
Arab analysts estimate that the tensions in the Persian Gulf put the entire region in danger of a conflagration, including the targeting of American assets, while one writer went as far as to say that the Third Gulf War was on its way.
In general, the ongoing Sunni-Shia rift in the Middle East, spearhead by Sunni leader Saudi Arabia and Shia leader Iran, is constantly heating to a boiling point, and the latest incidents have added significant steam to the pot.
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