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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Debka reports Hamas committed to stopping rockets

Normally I don't quote Debka, whose accuracy is sometimes questionable, but this fits in with what I've been reading in the Palestinian Arab press:
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Palestinian Hamas’ armed wing, determined to keep fellow terrorist groups from violating the ceasefire with Israel, has in the last two days deployed a string of 1,000 sentries and monitors at the missile sites of the northern Gaza towns of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya.

Oddly enough, Hamas has assumed the role of protector of Sderot against Palestinian missiles and mortars. Even harder to believe, Hamas’ hard-line “chief of staff” Ahmed Jabari has taken personal responsibility for maintaining the ceasefire.

Hamas security officers have been assigned with sticking close to every Jihad Islami and Popular Resistance Committees operative thought likely to start shooting missiles or mortars, and making sure it does not happen. Military sources report that Hamas operatives beat the daylights out of the Fatah Al Aqsa Brigades operatives who launched a Qassam missile against Israel as a provocation five days after the truce Egypt brokered between Israel and Hamas went into effect on June 19.

As DEBKAfile has reported, Hamas hopes to make good use of the respite in hostilities to recuperate, rearm and regroup for the next round. To win popular standing as rulers of the Gaza Strip, the Islamist group must demonstrate how it forced Israel to lift the blockade and reopen the border crossings, which Israel shut for two days when the missiles and mortars started flying last week.

This was quoted in the pro-Islamic Jihad "Palestine Today". My guess is that the main reason Israel hasn't responded to any cease-fire violations is because it sees how seriously Hamas is taking it.

Inevitably, this is causing mounting pressure on Hamas from the other terror groups in Gaza, like PIJ and Al Aqsa. Unlike 2006, Hamas is not tacitly encouraging other groups to continue firing.