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Hamas trapped between Israel, Islamic Jihad

While committed to keeping a quiet border with Israel, Hamas leaders fear the alliance between Iran and Islamic Jihad, and prefer Israel’s wrath to Iran’s anger.
A Palestinian girl walks past a monument of a homemade M75 rocket in the middle of a square in Gaza City March 10, 2014. Hamas fired M75 rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in the 2012 eight-day fighting with Israel.  REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3GEHZ

At the end of Operation Cast Lead in January 2009 and after three weeks of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attacks throughout the Gaza Strip, Palestinians had taken about 1,400 casualties, thousands more wounded and enormous damage to local infrastructure. The group responsible for this escalation, which is dragging Hamas and Israel into another bloody round of violence, is the same group that fired dozens of rockets on southern Israel March 12: Islamic Jihad.

About two weeks before the launch of Operation Cast Lead on Dec. 16, 2008, the IDF killed Jihad Nawahda, a senior member of the military wing of Islamic Jihad, in the West Bank village of Al-Yamoun. In response, the Al-Quds Brigades, the movement’s military wing, began firing a heavy barrage of rockets at Israel, destroying all efforts to bring about a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.

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