Al Hayat, an Arabic-language London-based newspaper, reported Sunday that the leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip are calculating that the chances of war with Israel are “at 95 percent” and assume it could erupt within days.
The paper said the military wing of Hamas has declared a state of the highest alert, evacuating its headquarters and various sites in the Strip, such as the border areas, and spreading its armed forces in civilian areas for fear of an Israeli attack. Other Gaza terror groups, including Islamic Jihad, were reportedly preparing in a similar manner.
Israeli jets have also struck the Strip twice in the last few days in retaliation for two rockets fired from Gaza, one on Thursday night that caused alarms to go off in the Ashkelon Regional Council, and one on Friday night, when sirens sounded in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. Three Hamas terror targets were hit in response, the IDF said. Two were part of a military facility and one was an observation post.
Before his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that Israel is not interested in a war with Hamas, but will “do whatever is necessary” to defend itself.