At 4.30 AM Monday morning, Israel and the Palestinian factions in Gaza entered yet another ceasefire after almost two days of intensive fighting.
A total of 690 rockets were fired at population centers in southern Israel and one missile reached the city of Beit Shemesh roughly 20 kilometers west of Jerusalem.
The Israeli military reacted with more than 260 airstrikes on Hamas- and Islamic Jihad- related targets in Gaza while a total of 29 people died as a result of the latest bloody confrontation, 4 of them Israelis.
After the ceasefire came into effect Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said the campaign was not over yet and that the IDF was “continuing preparations” for military action in Gaza.
Residents of the Gaza belt reacted with anger to the new ceasefire agreement which was officially denied by Israeli government officials.
Observers think the new lull in the violence will last only a short period and is dependent on the renewal of financial aid to the Hamas-controlled poverty-stricken coastal enclave in southern Israel.
If this were to be true the announcement by Qatar that it would “support the Palestinian people with $ 480 million” should be reason to be hopeful that the ceasefire will hold this time and Israelis in southern Israel could finally enjoy normal living conditions.
However, most of the Qatari aid will go the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah which is stubbornly refusing to receive tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel after Jerusalem decided to deduct $138 million per month because of the PA’s ‘pay to slay’ policy.
This policy dates back to 1964 when the PLO established the Palestine Mujahidin and Martyrs Fund which supports the families of terrorists who are either killed or jailed by Israel.
If we take a closer look at the information which was released during the latest confrontation between the IDF and the Palestinian terror groups in Gaza a different picture emerges.
The battle which took place this weekend was the eighth round of brief fighting between the parties within year.
Each of these brief battles ended in an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire and – as was the case in the last flare-up – was ordered by Iran via its proxies Islamic Jihad and Hamas as we will see.
The escalation took place at the moment that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala were in Cairo for talks on the terms of a lasting ceasefire that would reportedly include the lifting of Israeli sanctions on Gaza and the release of Palestinian inmates from Israeli jails.
Both Sinwar and al-Nakhala maintain close ties with Iran while Sinwar was responsible for the reconciliation between Hamas and Iran after the Gazan-based terror group initially backed Sunni Islamist rebels in Syria in their attempt to overthrow the Iranian-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Iran has no interest in a long-term ceasefire between Israel and its proxies in Gaza and wants them to up the pressure on the Jewish state.
Former Israeli national security adviser Ya’acov Amidror said the violence was being instigated by the Islamic Republic while Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon said that “Iran was behind everything” which is happening in the Middle East.
“They spend $7 billion a year on terrorism whether it’s Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, or also Hamas in Gaza,” Danon told FOX News.
“We saw what happened in the last few days when Israel retaliated after Hamas launched more than 600 rockets into our civilian population,” the Israeli diplomat added before the ceasefire came into effect.
Evidence that the Israeli government realizes Iran is behind the war of attrition conducted by Islamic Jihad and Hamas was the assassination of Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudari a Hamas operative who was responsible for the transfer of Iranian funds to the various Palestinian terror groups in Gaza.
Khudari was killed while driving in his car and his assassination marked the renewal of “the policy of assassinating senior terror officials” Netanyahu said during a security assessment at the IDF’s SOUTHCOM’s headquarters.
“Israel changed the rules of the game, and Hamas knows this very well,” the Israeli PM added.
Eleven of the more than two dozen Palestinian Arabs killed in the IAF airstrikes on the Gaza Strip were members of Iran’s proxy Islamic Jihad which is operating under the name ‘Quds Brigade’ in Gaza.
The same name is used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps for the division responsible for exporting the Islamic Revolution to other parts of the Middle East and beyond.
Qassem Soleimani the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force is maintaining close ties to Sinwar we reported at the end of last year.
The fact that Hamas was able to rebuild its military infrastructure in Gaza after the 2014 summer war was due to the assistance of “the Islamic Republic of Iran” the Hamas leader boasted at the time.