Violence between the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Israel has been quietly ratcheting up over the past week. Some fear the current rumblings are a prelude to another explosion of violence, but others are less concerned.
Israeli forces attacked and neutralized a terrorist cell along the southern portion of the Gaza security fence early Monday morning. Israeli intelligence had indicated that the cell planned to ambush Israeli soldiers patrolling on the Israeli side of the fence.
That action came after Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists had fired no fewer than 20 rockets into southern Israel since last Sunday.
Some Israelis fear the Palestinians could begin escalating the level of violence ahead of a Palestinian bid to [unilaterally declare statehood at the UN in September].
While that strategy would seem counterproductive, the international community has demonstrated time and again that its chosen method of dealing with Palestinian violence is appeasement.
But IDF officials sounded a more optimistic tone at the weekend.
"The [terror] groups are blowing off steam," one official told The Jerusalem Post. "We are not viewing this as a real escalation."
Other officials noted that Hamas itself has not been involved in the rocket fire of the past week, even though Israel holds the group responsible for the actions of other terrorists operating out of Gaza.
More importantly, no one has been injured or killed yet in the latest attacks. Israel has a bad habit of not viewing a situation as deadly until someone has actually died. That has been a strong point of contention in the past between the threatened residents of southern Israel and the government.
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