A quick insight into the Hebron kidnapping incident.
Although it is early to evaluate we believe that is this way or another – Hamas, or the radical wing of Hamas – is behind the kidnapping of the three Yeshiva students in Hebron area. A Salafist organization, unknown so far, an ISIS affiliation of Palestine, took responsibility but it is too early to give credibility to such announcements.
We suspect Hamas because of variety of reasons. Firstly, Hamas was active in directing his operatives to kidnap soldiers or settlers since sometime now and in the inauguration speech of the unity government – that did not materialize – Hamas (still) PM, Ismail Haniyya devoted large scope to the importance of the kidnapping.
Hamas cannot give up its "muqawama" agenda not only because of its ideology but because that the subsidies it wish to resume from Iran relies on the quality of its "operations" against Israel. Since it is unable to launch operations from Gaza- they try to find other bases to attack Israel- Sinai for example. Sinai was a preferred arena but the cooperation between Egypt and Israel proved to be effective and its freedom in Sinai + the closure of the tunnels rendered it to be ineffective. The Sinai arena had a special interest for Hamas as path to Moslem Brothers in Egypt to unite for the cause of the Moslem Caliphate.
As long as the main focus was directed to Sinai and Egypt- the West Bank front was neglected. The interest of Hamas in the West Bank was preventive—they followed the constructing of the new Palestinian forces by the USA and GB with concern taking for granted that in some point those well-trained might be sent to Gaza to re-take Gaza to the PLO. So, they concentrated on de-legitimating the security cooperation between the IDF and the Palestinian forces.
After Sisi deposed Mursi in Cairo and the Moslem Brothers were persecuted in Egypt Hamas began to reevaluate its positions regarding Egypt and there were signals that they decided to begin to engage with the West Bank. We saw Hamas' inspired demonstrations against the PLO despite the unity agreement in several West Bank cities- including Ramallah – that were crushed by Palestinian police.
Another old ploy of Hamas is to disguise its operations in bad timings in fabricated names, so it is possible that an organization under invented name will take responsibly and it can be well a Salafist name and even a real Salafist organization that is part of Hamas regional spread. For example in the Moslem Brothers infrastructure in Sinai- a-Nusra was allied with Hamas or even built by it. In the Yarmuk refugee camp in Syria one of the Nusra leaders is the bodyguard of Khaled Mash'al.
Although until lately Hamas neglected the West Bank, one must pay attention to the fact that in the Shalit exchange deal a relative portion of Hebronites were included in Hamas lists. The Gaza families blamed Hamas commander at the time- Ahmad Ja'bari in favoritism of the Hebronites because he himself is from a Hebron origin. But he had a strategic far-sight – he probably decided to begin the penetration to the West Bank from Hebron.
As a matter of fact the PA lost much of its control in Hebron area and in several cases the PA forces were scared out from villages by fire shot at them in several villages.
We do not expect Israel to easily enter into another