Israeli officials cited by local media said that they expect an escalation in violence along the Gaza border this coming weekend as Hamas attempts to divert attention from its ineptitude in governance.
A previous escalation in Gaza rocket attacks and border skirmishes in November was followed by many weeks of relative calm. Israel responded by facilitating the transfer of financial aid from Qatar to the cash-strapped Gaza Strip in hopes that Hamas would use the money to ease economic woes and further deescalate the situation.
But trusting in an unrepentant terrorist organization to behave in such a way was probably a bit short-sighted.
Instead, Hamas used the Qatari cash injections to allow its own higher-ups to resume their lavish lifestyles, leaving much of the Gaza population wondering why the hell they ever voted these clowns into power. (Yes, Hamas militarily seized control of Gaza, but only after winning a firm majority in parliament in the last Palestinian legislative election in 2006. And Jimmy Carter himself said those were free and fair elections, so who are we to argue?)
Doing what despots do, Hamas wants to get the people thinking about something other than how the group's top leaders are sitting pompously prosperous even as the coastal enclave's economy tanks.
According to Gaza sources, Hamas is looking to renew flaming kite and balloon bomb attacks (good luck with that under current windy and rainy weather conditions), as well as mass attempts to breach the Gaza security fence and assault nearby Israeli villages.
That should keep the people busy.
And so, on Tuesday, the verbosely-named "Supreme National Authority for the March of Return and Breaking of the Siege" urged the Gaza public to get themselves to the border fence on Friday for a little rumble with the IDF.
Just to make sure it's a full-featured event, Hamas also reportedly met with the heads of the "kite unit" and the "tire unit" (seriously, who comes up with these names?) and begrudgingly gave them some of their caviar money to, well, buy more kites and tires to set on fire.
Unfortunately for Hamas, the world is tiring of this story. So, unless the terror group can bring something new to the party (and Israeli forces are doing everything in their considerable power to ensure there are no surprises), any confrontation that does materialize is likely to be quickly forgotten, if not ignored altogether.
PHOTO: If the flaming kites and balloon bombs don't do the trick, Hamas has threatened to unleash its new jihadi boy band. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)