Jerusalem’s cautious assessment is that Hamas realizes that its ability to score PR accomplishments from further weekend incidents along the Gaza Strip’s border-fence is diminishing, and that it will have a hard time to continue bringing tens of thousands of demonstrators every week until its planned main event that is scheduled for month. Nevertheless, the demonstrations along the border’s security fence continue. During today’s demonstration, thousands of protesters waved Palestinian flags, while at the same time burning the flags of Israel and the United States.
Meanwhile, after Israel’s Iron Dome anti rocket system’s falsely trigged two weeks ago by heavy machine-gun fire in the air, Hamas declared that it would keep shooting in the air in an attempt to circumvent the Israeli anti-rocket capabilities. In response to Hamas’ announcement, the Israeli military sent the Islamist Palestinian group a message yesterday saying that the rules of the game had changed and that from now on, the retaliation for this kind of shooting will be identical to the retaliation for spotting a terrorist cell that fired a rocket at Israel. In addition, a senior Israeli defense official told TV7 that Israel will no longer tolerate large-scale clashes on the border fence with Gaza and will apply necessary measures that will force Hamas to back-off. The official noted that Jerusalem views the Gaza situation as a distraction from its primary mission, to confront the Islamic republic’s threats on Israel’s northern frontier.