Tags: palestinians | islamic jihad | gaza | israel

Smart Bombs, Possible New Terror Leadership Are Gaza Game Changers

Smart Bombs, Possible New Terror Leadership Are Gaza Game Changers

Members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement march during a military parade in Gaza City on October 4, 2018. (Anas Baba/AFP/Getty Images)

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Monday, 04 March 2019 12:42 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which is headquartered in Gaza, has as its goal the total destruction of Israel. That's not a secret, an announcement to that effect was recently made on Iranian TV.

Islamic Jihad also said that they have missiles that they can launch from Gaza and hit as far as Netanya, an Israeli city north of Tel Aviv.

The threat is serious, very serious.

The vast majority of Israelis, two thirds of Israelis, live in a very small stretch of land reaching from just south of Tel Aviv to just north of Tel Aviv. Netanya, a seaside city, sits in the sweet spot of that area.

It is very important to understand that just because a news item was broadcast on Iranian TV, it does not mean that it is true. At least, entirely true.

What is true is that Iran has those rockets. And those rockets are intended for use by Islamic Jihad.

The question is whether Palestinian Islamic Jihad has already been able to smuggle the rockets into Gaza. If they haven't, it's not for lack of trying — and they will try and try again. And it's not for lack of urgency. Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza is playing a game of catch-up with Hamas.

And they will be resourceful. Israeli intelligence has issued two reports describing how, for example, Iran smuggled special systems into Gaza in order to retrofit Hamas' rockets and make them more accurate with GPS satellite guidance systems. The reports describe how the new guidance system was brought into Gaza in small suitcases, the size of airplane carry-on bags commonly called wheel-ees.

Hamas is the nemesis of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. If they can smuggle high grade weaponry into Gaza, Islamic Jihad is going to do it, too. Rockets are a formidable enough weapon to be used against Israel, as is. This new technology literally transforms the status quo on the ground. A simple rocket is now a computerized smart bomb. And it is in the hands of Hamas.

And so Palestinian Islamic Jihad has come out strong making statements about their prowess and capabilities — especially their ability to fire rockets that can hit places north of Israel.

We know why they are making these statements, the question is, why now?

Islamic Jihad is making a play for power on the streets of Gaza. Their goal is to wrestle power from Hamas which currently controls Gaza.

Islamic Jihad is a relatively small group in Gaza — significantly smaller than Hamas. In order for Islamic Jihad to get more supporters, Islamic Jihad must show that Hamas is no different from Abbas and his Fatah party and the Palestinian Authority. Up until now, and even despite his unpopularity, Abbas' Fatah and Hamas have been the only two alternatives for Palestinians.

Islamic Jihad must show Palestinians that they are the true protectors of Gaza's Palestinians. And that’s why we have started to see rallies and protests and hear public statements filled with bravado, telling people on the streets of Gaza how powerful Palestinian Islamic Jihad is.

Smart bombs. The possibility of new terrorist leadership in Gaza. These are game changers.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which is headquartered in Gaza, has as its goal the total destruction of Israel. That's not a secret, an announcement to that effect was recently made on Iranian TV.
palestinians, islamic jihad, gaza, israel
587
2019-42-04
Monday, 04 March 2019 12:42 PM
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