Both Hamas and Iran reportedly hoped that such rocket attacks would hurt Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid in the upcoming Knesset election.
A senior Hamas official reportedly has implicated Iran as the force behind the rocket attack into central Israel on Monday morning.
In that rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on the Israeli community of Mishmeret, seven people were hurt.
The Israel Hayom daily cites the senior Hamas figure as saying that Iran wanted such an attack to take place in order to hurt Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his campaign for the April 9 Knesset election.
Tehran allegedly “went over the heads” of the leadership of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and ordered an Islamic Jihad cell to carry out the attack. “In Gaza, it is believed that Israel won’t launch a major operation in Gaza two weeks before the elections,” the official said, according to the report.
Hamas was said to be surprised when Israel did, in fact, respond with a series of airstrikes on Gaza, even after the terror group had relayed a message to the mediating Egyptians that it was prepared to cease attacks in an arrangement of “quiet in exchange for quiet.”
While senior officials in both Egypt and Gaza reportedly confirmed that Iran had ordered the attack, they are said to have asserted that the Hamas leadership was aware of the plans to fire a rocket deep into Israeli territory.
The senior Hamas official cited by Israel Hayom said that his organization does hope that more rocket fire at Israel will hurt Netanyahu’s chances of remaining prime minister after the upcoming Knesset election.