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Hamas convinced Israel will launch an attack

Hamas leaders believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing for a military operation in the Gaza Strip to distract attention from police investigations against him.
An Israeli F-15 fighter jet takes off during an exercise dubbed " Juniper Falcon", held between crews from the U.S and Israeli air forces, at Ovda Military Airbase, in southern Israel May 16. Picture taken May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RTX36T2T
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Hamas has assessed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning a military operation in the Gaza Strip to deflect public opinion from the criminal investigations against him in Israel. On Aug. 9, Israeli air force planes attacked two Hamas targets in northern Gaza in response to the firing of a rocket from Gaza that landed in an open area of the Hof Ashkelon Local Council. The attack on Hamas’ military posts and on the Shati refugee camp — where Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, lives — was viewed by the movement's leadership as additional proof of their assessment that Israel is planning an escalation and preparing for a major military operation.

The heads of Hamas’ military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, view the airstrikes as a clear attempt to draw Hamas into a confrontation. The announcement the organization made immediately after the attacks leaves no room for doubt about how they see the situation: “This is crossing a dangerous line for which Israel will bear the consequences. We will not allow Gaza to be turned into a testing field for Israeli ammunition.”

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