By Julia Manchester
American Enterprise Institute research fellow Katherine Zimmerman said on Thursday that Israel is more concerned about threats from Hezbollah and the ongoing Syrian civil war than it is with Hamas.
“For the Israelis, the concern is less about Hamas right now and much more about Hezbollah and the events in Syria, and that’s where they want to put their effort,” Zimmerman told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti on “Rising,” when asked how much Israel will have to invest in ground operations amid recent attacks from Hamas.
Her comments come after a failed Israeli operation in Gaza sparked a new wave of violence, resulting in the deaths of 7 Palestinians.
Israeli forces launched over 30 airstrikes into the Gaza strip, while Hamas-linked militants launched hundreds of rockets into Israel, wounding at least seven Israelis.
“It’s estimated that it was over 450 rocks in 24 hours, and that’s a level that we haven’t seen, so yes it is unprecedented, and it shows that Hamas has been stockpiling, but the Israeli defense systems worked,” Zimmerman said.
Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shi’ite group, has become a significant participant in Syria’s ongoing civil war, which is taking place in relatively close proximity to Israel.
“We condemn any normalization with Israel, and call on the Palestinian people not to be afraid,” Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, told supporters last week.
“If Syria and the Assad regime were to fall, we would have seen Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Damascus, because most of the opposition in Syria maintains ties with Israel,” he continued.