Hamas Not Expected to Halt Terror

(IFM) Hamas will not cease its terror attacks on Israeli targets in the run-up to the Palestinian Authority leadership elections on January 9th, according to an updated assessment from Israeli intelligence officials, reports Ha’Aretz. Intelligence officials believe that even after the elections, Hamas will continue to carry out terror attacks, but will consider – under pressure from the PA – reducing its activities to what it terms "the 1948 areas" (within the Green Line) and focusing its strikes on "the 1967 areas," namely the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A high-ranking security source revealed Monday that from the point of view of Hamas, perpetuating the image that Israel is fleeing the Gaza Strip under fire, and primarily the organization’s attacks, is a vital matter. As a result, Hamas will continue with its attacks on soldiers and settlers in the Strip.

At this stage, intelligence officials believe, Hamas has no intentions of ceasing to use Qassam rockets, even if they are fired into Israel. The organization views the rocket as a strategic weapon that can threaten Israel. Defense establishment sources noted that Hamas was making great efforts to increase the range of its rockets – which can currently strike at targets some 10 kilometers away – and their accuracy.