Giving Israel a new look at Hamas / Is Hamas responsible for Gaza rocket fire? Not exactly.

[Haaretz] In portraying the nature of the Hamas movement, Gaza correspondent Shlomi Eldar demonstrates just how little the Israeli intelligence community seems to know about its own ignorance of the subject.
The detailed document, whose existence and transmission to the prime minister were denied completely by Olmert’s office at the time, constituted an offer by Hamas to conduct a multilevel dialogue with Israel, beginning with discussion about a cease-fire and the building of long-term trust, and ending with a coexistence agreement to last 25 years, and the establishment of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders.

The document does not mention recognition of Israel or a peace agreement per se. It does, however, stipulate not only a cease-fire ‏(“tahadiyeh” in Arabic, which literally means “lull” but has come to mean a “temporary truce”‏), but also cooperation on the civilian front, such as the opening of border crossings and a renewal by Israel of tax-money transfer to the Palestinians.


Is Hamas responsible for Gaza rocket fire? Not exactly.
Here's how Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren explained the Gaza strikes this afternoon: "The scope of the IDF's defensive operation depends on Hamas and whether it takes the decision to cease firing missiles on our homes."

But Hamas has not been the principal one firing the rockets at Israel, at least not lately. Other, smaller militant groups in Gaza like Islamic Jihad and the popular resistance committees in the strip do much of the shooting, though the Al Qassam Brigade that Mr. Jabari headed until his death has taken credit for some attacks in recent weeks.
Here's how veteran Israeli columnist Aluf Benn put it today:
Ahmed Jabari was a subcontractor, in charge of maintaining Israel's security in Gaza. This title will no doubt sound absurd to anyone who in the past several hours has heard Jabari described as "an arch-terrorist," "the terror chief of staff" or "our Bin Laden." But that was the reality for the past five and a half years. Israel demanded of Hamas that it observe the truce in the south and enforce it on the multiplicity of armed organizations in the Gaza Strip. The man responsible for carrying out this policy was Ahmed Jabari.

Now Israel is saying that its subcontractor did not do his part and did not maintain the promised quiet on the southern border. The repeated complaint against him was that Hamas did not succeed in controlling the other organizations, even though it is not interested in escalation. After Jabari was warned openly (Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff reported here at the beginning of this week that the assassination of top Hamas people would be renewed), he was executed on Wednesday in a public assassination action, for which Israel hastened to take responsibility. The message was simple and clear: You failed - you're dead.

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