Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Ismail Haniyeh

Senior Hamas figures in Gaza responsible for attacks on Israel went underground for fear of being eliminated.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

The top leaders of the Hamas terror group in Gaza have gone into hiding out of fear that they will be targeted following the recent wave of rocket and incendiary balloon attacks on Israel, Ynet reported Sunday.

Tensions have escalated in Israel’s south following a dozen rocket attacks and hundreds of incendiary balloons launched at Israel by terrorists in Gaza, where the Iran-backed Hamas terror group maintains an iron-fisted military rule over the Palestinians population.

Hamas leaders are caught in a tight squeeze between their policy of trying to defeat Israel militarily and the reality of a dire economic crisis due to the terror group’s mismanagement of resources, which has left most Gazans destitute and dependent on cash handouts.

All of Hamas’ senior political figures, as well as its terror bosses, are operating from hiding places and with extreme care to compartmentalize their movements, knowing that they could be targeted with precision by Israeli airstrikes.

Israel recently hinted that it might return to the policy of taking out Hamas leaders with “surgical strikes” if terror attacks on Israel continue. In recent weeks, Hamas terrorists fired at least a dozen rockets at Israeli towns and launched hundreds of incendiary balloons, which caused scores of fires – all with Hamas approval.

Narrow Escape

A family in the town of Sderot narrowly escaped death when their house was hit by a rocket last week.

Despite Hamas talking big about defeating Israel on the battlefield, the terror group is broke and relies on deliveries of tens of millions of dollars in U.S. cash each month by the government of Qatar. Israel let Hamas know that the money won’t be allowed into the Gaza Strip unless calm returns.

At the same time, Hamas is facing worsening internal pressure because of electricity blackouts due to a fuel shortage. The public is getting barely 3-4 hours of electricity per day.

Hamas will have to stop the rocket and balloon attacks and restore calm so that the transfer of cash as well as badly needed fuel can resume.

Israel is still giving Egyptian, Qatari and UN mediators a chance to convince Hamas leaders to stop the attacks and avoid a violent escalation. However, the leadership in Jerusalem has said that if the mediation efforts do not bear fruit and Hamas continues its attacks, Israel will be forced to intensify its measures against Hamas even at the cost of a few days of fighting.

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