February 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Strikes Hamas Rocket Factory

February 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Strikes Hamas Rocket Factory

Latest Developments

Israeli fighter jets struck a Hamas rocket manufacturing facility in Gaza early this morning in retaliation for a Saturday night rocket launch from the coastal enclave. The Israeli strike “deals a serious blow to Hamas’s ability to fortify and arm itself,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement. While the exact perpetrator of the Saturday attack remains unclear, the IDF reiterated its policy that Israel regards Hamas, the dominant power in Gaza, as responsible for any attack originating from the territory. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted the Saturday rocket before it could hit its target.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip are signaling an end to the general calm that prevailed through the latter half of last year. Gaza-based terrorist groups sense instability in Israel, largely due to the ongoing violence in the West Bank and political strife that has spurred massive protests in many Israeli cities. By gradually destabilizing the Gaza front, Hamas and other terror organizations can mount more pressure on an Israeli government in the throes of a significant period of terrorism and political uncertainty.” Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

A Context of Increasing Violence

The instability in Gaza comes amid increasing Palestinian terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. Hours after the Israeli strike, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded an Israeli near the Temple Mount. Shortly thereafter, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded an Israeli at the checkpoint to the Shuafat refugee camp.

On Friday, a Palestinian terrorist rammed a car into a bus stop, murdering a 20-year-old man and a six-year-old boy. A third victim, the latter’s eight-year-old brother, died of his wounds the next day. In January, a Palestinian gunman killed seven people outside a synagogue following Shabbat evening prayers. Palestinian terrorist groups may view Israel as weak and unprepared given Israel’s inability to prevent this wave of assaults on Israeli civilians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday pledged “broader action” against Palestinian terrorism.

Palestinians Blame Israel

Some Palestinian officials have asserted that the recent spike in terrorist attacks is the result of new Israeli policies that the Netanyahu government has implemented since taking office in late December. This conflicts with available data showing 29 Israelis were killed in Israel and the West Bank in 2022 before Netanyahu took office, with the total number of terrorist attacks gradually increasing over the course of the year.

Related Analysis

Israel Pledges Tougher Measures After Jerusalem Ramming Murders,” FDD Flash Brief

Palestinian Terror Attack Kills Two Israelis in Jerusalem,” FDD Flash Brief


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