Hamas Threatens Escalation If Tit-For-Tat Airstrikes Continue

The military arm of terror group Hamas warned recently that continued Israeli attacks against its military positions in the Gaza Stip could lead to a wider conflict, in the first threat of its kind since a ceasefire agreement was reached following last year’s Operation Protective Edge. The past several weeks have seen an uptick in tit-for-tat exchanges in Gaza, with Palestinians firing small volleys and Israeli aircraft attacking installations belonging to Hamas hours later. Officials from the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said this week that “the rules of the game will change” if Israel does not desist from carrying out punitive airstrikes against sites controlled by the group. Israel holds Hamas, which is the de facto ruler of Gaza, responsible for all rocket fire from the Strip, though the recent instances of rocket fire have been claimed by smaller Islamist factions, including a Salafi group attempting to damage Hamas.

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