Hamas and Islamic unleashed four barrages of rocket and mortar fire against Israel this week. The attacks went on for over 24 hours. 180 rounds were launched at Israeli civilian areas. One landed near a kindergarten. Five Israelis were wounded over the course of the attacks, none seriously. Many of the rockets were found to have been of Iranian origin. Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system successfully intercepted many of the incoming rockets and mortars. Then came the inevitable Israeli response and it was devastating. The IDF carried out 65 airstrikes against Hamas facilities in Gaza. “According to the army, the targets included a drone facility, rocket manufacturing plant, advanced naval weaponry, military compounds, training camps and weapons factories.”[i]
Iran’s investment in the terror groups is one of the few areas where Iran can effectively strike at Israel right now. Hamas has openly and publicly admitted that it is Iranian money that funds its terror activities. And Hezbollah is a known client terror group. Following the end of Washington’s involvement in the Iran Nuclear Deal – [which provided American money to the Mullah’s to fund those terror groups] – Iranian-backed forces launched attacks against Israel, only to be decimated by the Israeli response. Groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah in Lebanon give Tehran what one writer as described as leverage against Israel. Herb Keinon in the Jerusalem Post: “If Israel ever attacks Iran to end its nuclear program, Iran would be able to hit back extremely hard through conventional means – whether from Syria, Lebanon or Gaza.”[ii] In the event, the massive Israeli response to the attacks bought an uneasy peace – at least for now.
[i] DEFENSE OFFICIAL: MORTAR FIRE ON ISRAEL STOPPED BY EXTENSIVE IDF STRIKES, Jerusalem Post, May 30, 2018
[ii] Herb Keinon, ANALYSIS: FROM IRAN TO GAZA – CONNECTING THE DOTS, Jerusalem Post, May 29, 2018