November 15, 2022 | Flash Brief

The IDF is Holding Hamas Responsible for Rocket Attacks

November 15, 2022 | Flash Brief

The IDF is Holding Hamas Responsible for Rocket Attacks

Latest Developments

On November 3, four rockets were launched from Gaza towards southern Israel. Three fell inside Gaza, and one was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system. The rockets were the first fired from the coastal enclave since this past August’s Operation Breaking Dawn, during which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) sought to degrade Islamic Jihad in Gaza. While Palestinian factions denied responsibility, the IDF responded to the attack by targeting a Hamas weapons facility in Gaza, saying, “We hold Hamas responsible for all terrorist activity emanating from Gaza.”

Expert Analysis

“The minimal amount of Hamas rocket fire coming out of Gaza reflects a shift to attacking Israel from the West Bank and supporting militant organizations there, particularly in Jenin and Nablus. While Hamas foments violence in the West Bank, it is keeping the Gaza front quiet as it rebuilds military infrastructure lost during the 2021 conflict.” Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Islamic Jihad Likely Responsible for Rocket Attack

Islamic Jihad likely launched the rockets in retaliation for an Israeli operation in Jenin earlier this month that resulted in the death of Farouk Salameh, a senior member of Islamic Jihad’s branch in the West Bank. Following the rocket attack, Hamas’ internal security services reportedly arrested two militants from the Salafist-jihadi group Army of Islam. The Army of Islam has been operationally inactive for more than a year and has not claimed responsibility for the attack, so the arrests may be a diversion.

IDF is Holding Hamas Accountable for Rocket Fire from Gaza

Given that Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2006, the IDF is holding the group responsible. The IDF responded to the indiscriminate rocket fire on November 3 by destroying an underground weapons facility in Gaza described as a Hamas “rocket development & manufacturing complex.” The IDF stated that Hamas would be held responsible for all terrorist activity emanating from Gaza.

Hamas Has Sights Set on the West Bank

Hamas fought a 10-day war with Israel in May 2021, which depleted the terror organization’s weapons cache and funds. Since then, Hamas in Gaza has shown little appetite for a similar conflict with Israel. However, over the past year, Hamas has focused on inciting and fomenting unrest in the West Bank by directing its operatives to plan and execute attacks against Israeli targets. For example, Israeli security forces arrested Hamas member Imran Salman, who was suspected of carrying out an armed attack on an Israeli bus. Hamas is also suspected of aiding smaller militant groups that carry out attacks against Israelis.

Related Analysis

Assessing Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Military Capabilities After the August 2022 Conflict,” FDD Flash Brief

Tehran’s Terror Proxies in Gaza Escalate Attacks on Israeli Civilians,” by Bradley Bowman and Joe Truzman


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Palestinian Politics