Israel’s Warning Shots At Hamas
There can be little doubt that the massive escalation of projectile attacks from the Gaza Strip this past weekend was a transparent attempt by Iran to utilize its Palestinian terrorist proxies in Gaza to impact the current talks between the U.S., Israel and Russia about countering the Iranian presence in Syria.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that he agreed with Trump on the need to eventually demilitarize Israel’s border with Syria in keeping with the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement that ended the Yom Kippur War. Putin touted his “very successful” one-on-one meeting with Trump, during which he said the U.S. president emphasized the need to maintain Israel’s security.
Without mentioning Iran specifically, Trump stated at a joint press conference that “President Putin also is helping Israel.” Trump said both he and Putin had spoken recently with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “and they would like to do certain things with Syria having to do with the safety of Israel.”
Those statements had Iran written all over them. Israel has been strongly lobbying both the U.S. and Russia to rid Syria of Iran’s destabilizing military presence in that country.
Rewind to Saturday night. Hamas, which does not have a strategic interest in prompting major Israeli retaliation, worked with other Gazan terrorist groups to launch the largest volley of rockets and mortars since the 2014 Israel-Gaza War, which was started after Hamas violated a ceasefire and unilaterally attacked the Jewish state.
More than 200 projectiles were fired from Gaza aimed at Israeli civilian population zones, injuring four family members in the nearby town of Sderot when a rocket smashed outside their home. Another terror rocket struck near a synagogue there.
In response, the IDF carried out the biggest attack against Hamas targets inside Gaza since the 2014 war. In reacting as it did, Israel was attempting to send a message to Hamas that Gaza’s terrorist rulers will pay a heavy price for doing Iran’s bidding. Hamas must have known that Israel would hit back hard when they escalated their rocket war, indicating the terrorist group either doesn’t care or is so influenced by Iran that it has no choice but to act when their paymasters in Tehran dictate orders.
This likely explains why Israel on Sunday reportedly struck a military base near Syria’s Aleppo that is known for ties with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The same base was hit purportedly by Israel last April. Israel wanted to send a message to Iran that the Jewish state will continue to counter Tehran’s presence in Syria militarily. This after Iran has already been humiliated and strategically devastated by Israel’s repeated strikes against Iran-run military bases in Syria and has been feeling the pressure.
The latest Hamas rocket campaign demonstrates that Iran seems to be attempting to divert Israel’s attention to the Gaza Strip, signaling to Israel that Iranian proxies can be turned on at will.
Iran will continue to feel the heat as the U.S., Israel and Russia strategize on Syria. There is fear that Iran’s next move may be to order Gaza’s terrorists to launch rockets into central Israel, prompting the IDF to deploy the Iron Dome anti-missile system around Tel Aviv. As Iran becomes increasingly desperate and isolated, it may resort to instigating an all-out war between Hamas and Israel. In such a war, the Israeli home front will suffer but it is Hamas that risks destruction.
Strzok Pushed For Aggressive Investigation Into Trump
In statements largely unreported by the news media, FBI official Peter Strzok described an alleged debate that took place within the FBI about how aggressively to pursue the Russia collusion investigation based on Donald Trump’s poll numbers in the 2016 presidential election.
Strzok made his statements about nine hours into Thursday’s televised congressional hearing during a section in which he was explaining his infamous August 2016 text message referencing an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump wins the election.
“The insurance policy text that has come up before?” began Strzok. “That text represented a debate on information that we had received from an extraordinarily sensitive source and method and that typically when something is that sensitive if you take action on it you put it at risk. And so there is a tension there. Maybe we should just roll slow. Take a typical 3, 4-year counterintelligence investigation because the more aggressive you are the more you put it at risk. And some people said that.”
Strzok went on to claim that Trump’s poll numbers played a role in internal FBI conversations about the speed of the investigation, with he himself arguing for an aggressive investigation when others were advocating for less aggressive tactics.
Some people said, hey, look. Every poll is saying candidate Trump is likely not to win. Every Republican was saying that. Some people said as a result of that let’s not risk the source. Let’s go slow. But I indicated for them. What I am saying is. Look, we are the FBI. We need to do our job. We need to investigate.
While it isn’t likely according to all the pollsters and everybody that candidate Trump is elected, we need to make sure we are protecting America. We need to responsibly and aggressively investigate these actions, because you know what, if candidate Trump is elected, there might be people we need to be investigating that might be nominated for important security positions. Everybody in America would want to know that. Candidate Trump would want to know that.
It is not the traditional role of the FBI to formulate investigations based on poll numbers.