image Photo: Flash90

Official: Hamas tried to extort Israel

A senior Israeli defense official informed TV7 that the Qatari-brokered ceasefire arrangement between Gaza and Israel was reached after Hamas significantly compromised on its demands. The source explained that while the Islamist organization sought to extort Jerusalem by terrorizing southern Israel, it quickly realized that it had miscalculated its actions.

After the recent campaign of airborne incendiary attacks through the deployment of terror balloons had initially been viewed as an inexpensive tactic, Israel retaliated with strikes on an estimated 100 Hamas military targets within a 19-day span. The IDF destruction of numerous weapons-manufacturing and armament installations, subterranean weapons caches and tactical infrastructure and other sites constituted a major blow to Hamas’ operational capacity ahead of a further potential escalation.

In addition, the Gaza leaders “reluctantly sought to alleviate tensions with Israel” due to rising domestic pressure over economic sanctions Jerusalem leveled as a means to stop the attacks, said the official.

Despite the current de-escalation of hostilities, Israel’s security establishment is aware that the understandings reached with Hamas will not last for an extended period of time, and is thus engaged in preparation of a future round of violence.

The Islamist Hamas did not immediately respond to TV7’s request for comment.