Why Hamas stayed out of the latest Gaza conflict

A ceasefire between Israel and the PIJ over Gaza that went into effect at 11:30 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m. ET) Sunday appeared to be holding almost 24 hours later. The conflict led to the death of at least 44 militants and civilians in Gaza, according to information from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Fifteen of the dead were children. Israel insists most of those killed were militants, and that several civilians were killed by failed militant rocket launches.
Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza, expressed support for the PIJ’s actions. But it kept its much larger and more powerful arsenal of rockets out of the equation, while Israel’s military made it clear from the outset they were focusing solely on PIJ targets.

That kept the conflict from spiraling into a larger, more dangerous confrontation, and closer to what happened during the 11-day war in May 2021.

So why not get involved? According to analysts and Israeli officials, one reason is the fact it is still only 15 months since the 2021 conflict that led to considerable damage and death in Gaza. Palestinians there are still rebuilding their homes, and Hamas is rebuilding its arsenal.

The Israeli government also believes its campaign of economic incentives — boosting the number of permits given to Gazans to cross into Israel for work — is succeeding.

Israel and Egypt have imposed a closure on Gaza since 2007, limiting access to the territory via land, air and sea, including tight restrictions…

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