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Iran the Force behind Gaza Escalation

On Sunday, former Israeli National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror of Israel and former head of the Research Department of Israeli military intelligence said in a

conversation regarding the current round of massive rocket fire on Israel last Friday, that Iran is behind the current escalation in the South.

Friday’s shooting took place at exactly the same time as Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders were in Cairo finalizing an agreement drawn up by Egypt that was designed to ease the tension in the South. Although the organization initially attempted to deny any responsibility, eventually it was revealed that while its leaders were in Cairo, the Islamic Jihad chose to fire on the soldiers during this important meeting.

“Why did the Islamic Jihad do this?” Amidror asked. “The answer is again and again and again – Iran.”

Amidror claims that the Islamic Jihad, unlike Hamas, is a completely owned and operated Iranian subsidiary. “It was established by Iran, financed by Iran, and does what Iran wants it to do,” he said, and added that Iran’s interest lies in freeing up Tehran to do what it wants to do in Syria, unhindered. Israel’s involvement in another major operation in Gaza will make this easier for Iran. “Israel will be busy focusing on Gaza and not have enough energy to deal with the building up of an independent war machine in Syria.”

 The explanation that makes the most sense for the Islamic Jihad to have fired on an IDF patrol while its leaders were in Cairo discussing an arrangement with Israel seems to be linked to Iranian pressure. Hamas was “dragged” into the current escalation by Islamic Jihad, according to Amidror. Therefore, whatever agreements that may have been made in Cairo – regarding fishing rights, the economy, or the transfer of Qatari funds — will be destroyed by the Islamic Jihad if Hamas does not take control and “do what it should as an organization that is in control of the Gaza Strip.”

Currently Amidror serves as a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security. He has said that the Islamic Jihad made a mistake because they believed that Israel would not retaliate during the week of Remembrance Day and Independence Day. As well, the popular Eurovision song contest is being held in Tel Aviv the following Saturday night. But, Amidror doesn’t believe these events will have an affect on retaliation.

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