Hamas launches rocket test from ruins of Gush Katif
Hamas fired two rockets into the Mediterranean Sea on Friday morning, as part of its ongoing missile tests meant to advance its domestic rocket arsenal ahead of its next terror war against Israel.
In a symbolic twist, the two rockets were fired from the ruins of Gush Katif, the group of Jewish communities that were forcibly evacuated by the government in the controversial 2005 Disengagement Plan.
Since then, Hamas has violently seized power in Gaza, and has launched no less than three wars against Israel, with the latest attempt to erase the Jewish state taking place in the summer of 2014, when a large portion of Hamas’s missile arsenal was destroyed or used up.
In the space of the ceasefire that ended Operation Protection Edge last summer, Hamas has constantly been conducting tests to advance its domestic rocket production capabilities, largely due to the Israeli naval blockade preventing the influx of missiles from foreign sources – most notably Iran – and an Egyptian crackdown on smuggling tunnels from Sinai that has seen thousands of Gazans expelled in the creation of a “buffer zone.”
Hamas has also fired rockets on numerous occasions at Israel in breach of the ceasefire, as have other groups such as an Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate that sent a missile as recently as last Friday – the missile fell short and hit Gaza.
In June Hamas contacted Israel, saying that the ISIS-affiliated group fired rockets so as to create a new clash and have Israel harm Hamas. Israel responded by clarifying that Hamas is responsible for any rocket fire emanating from Gaza, which is under its de facto control.