An unnamed Hamas official said the terror group has been negotiating with Israel via Egyptian intelligence services, according to BBC News. The report said terrorists would stop firing missiles at Israeli civilians “within hours.” Israeli officials have not responded to the report.
The report linked the rocket fire – dozens over the past week, including more than 50 on Thursday alone – to Israel’s manhunt for the killers of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Sha’ar and Naftali Fraenkel, and to the Arab rioting in Jerusalem over the the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The network did not mention the fact that more than 300 rockets have been fired from Gaza since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in November, 2012.
Hamas has threatened to “open the gates of hell” if Israel invades the Gaza Strip, where the terror group has ruled since 2006. Since the beginning of the Oslo War in September, 2000, terrorists have fired more than 12,000 rockets over the Gaza border at civilians inside Israel, some reaching as far as the outskirts of Jerusalem, 90 kilometrers away.
Israel continued Thursday night to mass troops on the Gaza border ahead of a possible operation to reign in the rockets.
Gershon Baskin, a veteran left-wing activist who claims to have negotiated the 1,027 terrorist-for-Gilad Shalit deal, wrote on his Facebook page that he had warned the Hamas leadership that Israel is committed to “taking firm decisive military action against Hamas leaders, even though it was known that Hamas was not shooting the rockets” (how,exactly, Baskin knows this is unclear). Baskin also indicated he had information that Israel would resume targeted killings of Hamas leaders if the rockets do not stop.
“A senior Israeli official who I spoke with at the 4th of July party at the US Ambassador’s residence, told me last evening (knowing that I would pass the message to Gaza) that Israel was extremely serious and that if the rockets did not stop, senior Hamas leaders would pay with their lives. Last evening one of the Hamas leaders sent me a message stating that they (Hamas) were doing everything in their power to stop the rockets and that their mission was not easy,” Baskin wrote.
Not that the warning helped, at least in the initial term: Palestinian terrorists from Gaza fired multiple rockets at Israeli communities early Friday morning.