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Official PA daily op-ed hopes Hamas rockets will become more lethal

Excerpt of an op-ed by Yahya Rabah, regular columnist for the official PA daily

“The first moment after the 11-day war between Israel and the Gaza Strip ended (refers to Hamas rocket barrages on Israeli cities; see note below -Ed.), …Israel and its dear ones made the first propaganda sentence heard everywhere, saying that ‘the efficiency of the rockets that the Palestinian factions are firing from the Gaza Strip at Israel does not exceed 15%’ (PMW found no such statement; might refer to percentage of rockets that the Iron Dome system did not intercept -Ed.). At that moment I listened to the news broadcast in which this fabricated report was given regarding the low efficiency of the Palestinian rockets, and it seems that the neighbors from all four directions watched the same news broadcast. I saw something strange: I saw the neighbors going out to the porches of their homes very happy, and their wives and daughters made sounds of joy. I wondered what these sounds of joy were for, and I was told that the people are happy because if the rockets’ efficiency does not exceed 15% and they did to Israel all [the damage] that they did, then these are divine good tidings. In Arab heritage [there is an expression] ‘Hope for good and you will find it.’ We used to not have rockets, and today we have rockets that we are producing from the remains of pipes, and the enemy admits that their efficiency is 15%. Tomorrow their efficiency will be higher, 200% (sic., 20%), 50%, and 100%. Every day we will improve, every day will be better.”

Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.

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