Mohammad al-Emadi, Qatar’s point man for Gaza, has conveyed a message to Hamas from Israel that it is prepared for war, should Hamas provoke one. The envoy pointed to the IDF’s positioning two new Iron Dome batteries, one on Gaza’s border, the other in metropolitan Tel Aviv, Beirut-based Al-Akhbar reported Friday..
Apparently, Israel has announced a rule change in the distribution of the $15 million coming donated by Qatar monthly to alleviate the humane crisis in the Gaza Strip. Originally, $10 million was paid in salaries to government employees, and the remaining $5 million went in $100 bills to 50 thousand indigent Gaza residents. Now Israel demands that the $5 million be handed out in the form of “logistical assistance,” meaning as basic food stuffs.
Hamas announced its refusal to receive the Qatari grant under this new rule, and also demanded that Qatar increase the monthly grant to $22 million, to support the Gaza power plant.
Hamas told al-Emadi that it is ready for all eventualities with Israel, and suggested that the continued intransigence would inevitably lead to a military confrontation which would negatively affect Netanyahu’s political future.
This is, clearly, a bad reading of the Israeli political map – there’s little doubt that an all-out Israeli pounding of the Gaza Strip would add a few seats to the Likud party.
In this context, out of five campaign videos released this week by the new contender for premiership, former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, two were dedicated to the high number of dead terrorists who were blown up by the IDF under his command in the summer of 2014, with background images of the same terrorists being blown up.
Affect Bibi’s campaign? Yeah, it would give him a monsoon-strength backwind.
Hamas also conveyed a threatening message to the Israelis that it plans an immediate response to any attack, and that said response would be harsher than the 400-racket night two months ago, after a spying IDF team was detected on the Gaza side.
Likud Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi on Friday morning told Kan, Israel’s Public Broadcasting Corporation, that Hamas is a gnat compared o the IDF, which would retaliate with unprecedented force for every violent behavior at the border and at the hidden rocket launching positions. Hanegby said the same rule would is in place against Iran’s military presence in Syria.