Iran weighs using Palestinians against Israel again

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 Iran came out of the recent war between Israel and Hamas thinking it has achieved something. It has helped put the Palestinian “resistance” back on the map, its leadership and media think. Its analysis is that Israel’s defenses were challenged and even breached. This is why it is highlighting new threats against Israel this week. 

Iran’s Tasnim media says that Palestinian groups in Gaza are “ready at any moment” to engage with Israel. Tasnim is re-reporting what Palestinian factions in Gaza are saying. “The nation and the Palestinian resistance heroically faced the enemy in the battle of ‘Quds Sword’, and with unity, empathy and various means of resistance, was able to smear the enemy’s snout, and its sinister plans in the city of Quds to impose new realities by displacing, pursuing and arresting Palestinians. And defeat the temporal and spatial division of Al-Aqsa Mosque.” 
Under the rhetoric of “smearing the enemy’s snout,” which means something like “we gave Israel a black eye,” Iran thinks that Israel overestimated its ability in May. The argument is that while Israel believed it could achieve a quick and relatively easy defeat of Hamas, the terror group surprised Israel and largely dictated the pace of the war. When there were clashes in Israeli cities between Arabs and Jews, this made Hamas think it might have tapped into something deeper.  
Iran and its allies in Gaza have set upon new excuses for creating tensions. Whether it is Sheikh Jarrah or a planned march in Jerusalem, now called off, or other “threats,” there is always an excuse to stoke war plans. Then there is the issue of Qatari financial assistance for Gaza. Any one of these things can be a trigger for more rockets.  
The larger question for Iran and its allies in Iraq and Lebanon is whether it thinks the timing is right to push yet another crisis. Lebanon has its own political crisis. In Iran there is a presidential election. Egypt has worked to broker the ceasefire in Gaza and would be upset to see its work overturned. Considering the rapprochement between Riyadh and Doha, the transfer of Qatari money to calm the situation in Gaza may be seen as a step in the direction of Cairo and Riyadh rather than against them. Iran may want destabilization and to sing the praises of Hamas and launder statements from Gaza to assert its willingness to challenge Israel, but it will have to calculate carefully how to do that. 
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