Recent rockets fired into central Israel by armed groups in Gaza were not ‘mistakes,’ as both Hamas and Israel claim. The counter-intuitive context, Tareq Baconi explains, is a Hamas attempt to get Israel back onboard with a cease-fire agreement.
'Hamas and Israel reached a cease-fire agreement last November following months of Egyptian-mediated negotiations. Under that agreement, Israel was supposed to ease restrictions on the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza. Hamas was supposed to curtail protests along the fence.
Tareq Baconi, Ramallah-based analyst for the International Crisis Group and author of “Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance,” believes that two rockets fired into central Israel by militants in Gaza in recent weeks were attempts by Hamas and other Palestinian factions “to pressure Israel into meeting its obligations under that cease-fire agreement” and adopt a more sustainable policy toward Gaza.
The Gaza Strip is facing an unprecedented crisis, Baconi explained on The +972 Podcast. In addition to the humanitarian and economic crises created by Israel’s 12-year blockade, the Palestinian Authority has stopped paying tens of thousands of Gazans their salaries and pensions.
Furthermore, the staggering number of Palestinians killed and maimed during a year of the Great March of Return protests has had its own impact on the health system and economy. Many in Gaza, Baconi said, “would tell you they have nothing to lose.”
Indeed, the Great Return March and the recent flare up are connected, according to Baconi.'
Read more: Suffering in Gaza isn’t a humanitarian issue, it’s an Israeli political decision