When you’re aiming to get some kuzushi, you pull with your hands. However, when all you want is to get some form of reaction from uke, you don’t pull but rather, snap with your hands. In top-level competition you see a lot of players constantly snapping their hands, as well as doing all kinds of feints with the heads, hips and legs in order to elicit a reaction from uke. Snapping with the hands is a key part of that effort.
"condition your opponents reactions so you know what to throw them with"