Over the 16-year period since the militant Islamic organization Hamas evicted the Palestinian Authority from the Gaza Strip – bringing about a series of clashes with the Israel Defense Forces – very little happened between these two adversaries without Hamas actually causing it.
On the very rare occasions where Hamas was not involved, they decided to let their junior partner and main competition – Palestinian Islamic Jihad – bear the brunt of the Israeli retaliation.
So when the relative quiet on the Gaza border was recently broken in mid-September, with violent demonstrations, incendiary balloons and IEDs, the questions raising their ugly heads once again are … why? … to what end? … and where could it all be leading?