Report: Gaza Terror Groups Believe More Aggressive Israeli Action Likely

YERUSHALAYIM -
hadar goldin
Israelis protest outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Yerushalayim, demanding to retrieve the missing bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul from Hamas captivity. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90, File)

Gaza terror groups are deploying guerrillas along the border, in anticipation of what they believe to be an imminent Israeli action in Gaza, a Lebanese newspaper reported Tuesday.

The Al-Akhbar report said that the terror groups fear that the events of the past several days in Israel – with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu taking on the role of defense minister as well, and the comments by Education Minister Naftali Bennett that Netanyahu “promised” him a tougher stance on Gaza – would lead to more aggressive Israeli action against the terror groups.

According to the Lebanese report, the terror groups believe that with Netanyahu’s narrow coalition seeking to survive for another year, and the Prime Minister’s need to appear “tough” to appeal to Israelis frustrated with the lack of response to the recent Hamas rocket attack, the likelihood of a major action of some sort by Israel has increased significantly.

At a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday – appearing for the first time in his capacity as defense minister, a task he took upon himself Sunday night – Netanyahu said that Israel’s work in Gaza was not complete. “We are in the midst of a campaign that has not yet ended. Whether or not our coalition partners decided to break up the government, we will continue to act on behalf of the security of Israelis,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the meeting.

Netanyahu was speaking shortly before a much-awaited press conference Monday, in which Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said they would not resign their posts, an act that would thereby be breaking up the coalition, as many had expected. The expectation had been that the two would indeed submit their resignation.

In his remarks, Bennett said that in a conversation with Netanyahu Friday about appointing him to the post of defense minister, the prime minister had promised to deal more effectively with the security issues facing Israel.

“The ball is in Netanyahu’s court,” Bennett said. “Over the next few weeks we will see if the revolution that the prime minister has promised will take place. Will we remove Khan al-Ahmar? Will it be clear that it is not worth murdering Jews in the Land of Israel?”