Israel deploys missiles two weeks after bombing Gaza lifeline tunnel

Lester Mason
November 14, 2017

On Monday, Israel arrested a leader of Palestinian group Islamic Jihad in the occupied West Bank.

"We are in great pain, not only over their deaths, but because of how Israel is presenting itself as the victor in this demolition", the Al-Hayat report quoted Islamic Jihad leaders as saying.

Amid increasing tensions between Israel and Islamic Jihad, the militant group has raised its state of readiness to its 'highest level, ' according to a report in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat.

The offices where Hamas once searched luggage and its intelligence officers interviewed foreign visitors now lie abandoned, their contents looted since the group handed Gaza's borders over to the PA at the beginning of November, marking the first concrete change since the reconciliation process started.

In October, Hamas and Fatah - Palestine's two main political factions - signed a landmark reconciliation agreement in Cairo aimed at ending 10 years of bitter division. The PA has already encountering resistance, as Hamas is refusing to cede its security control of the Gaza Strip and of its massive military arsenal. The Palestinian terror group has vowed revenge.

"It should be clear: Any retaliation of any kind by the Islamic Jihad will be met with a powerful and determined Israeli response, not only against the Jihad, but also against Hamas", Mordechai warned.

That deployment was due to estimates by Israeli defense officials that Islamic Jihad is planning a major terror attack against Israel in the wake of the IDF's recent demolition of a terror tunnel that ran under Israeli territory, in which a dozen of the group's top terrorists were killed. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu likewise cautioned that the military "will respond with a heavy hand to anyone who tries to attack it from any front". Responding to the Israeli warning, Islamic Jihad said Sunday that "Israeli threats are the result of fear and concern over the Palestinian response to their crimes".

The arrest came a day after Islamic Jihad called Israeli threats against its leadership "a declaration of war, which we will confront".

"We will respond to it", the militant movement said in a statement, stressing it had "the right to respond" to the blowing up of the tunnel.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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