Israel issues strong warning against Hamas and Islamic Jihad

Greenblatt

"Gaza deserves better." Greenblatt's statement came as the IDF on Monday deployed Iran Dome defense systems, and placed forces on high alert, especially surrounding the Gaza Strip, in anticipation of a revenge attack carried out by the Islamic Jihad Terror group.

"We're aware of your health conditions, but we will take you anyway", one of the raiding Israeli officers was quoted by the Palestinian family as saying. He addressed by name the terror group's leader, Ramadan Shalah, and his deputy, Ziad Nakhaleh, who run the Gaza-based group from Damascus, and said they would be "held responsible" should Islamic Jihad attack Israel. A total of 14 terrorists were killed in the aftermath of the tunnel collapse, including two senior Islamic Jihad field commanders.

The terror group is known to have Katyusha rockets, which could reach Israel's heavily populated central coastal region. Islamic Jihad responded to Mordechai's video on Sunday, calling it a "declaration of war".

Israel believes that the terror group is set on avenging the deaths of those terrorists, and security officials said that when Israel responds to that vengeance attack - which is likely to be high profile - with a major military action in Gaza, Islamic Jihad, and probably Hamas, will probably begin firing missiles at Israeli civilian communities.

Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Monday condemned a United Nations envoy for "holding Palestinian groups accountable for every tension with Israel".

IDF Southern Commander General Yoav Mordechai over the weekend issued a warning to Islamic Jihad not to act in response to the demolition of the tunnel.

But the Al-Hayat report said that Islamic Jihad was undecided on what to do in the wake of the tunnel demolition.

And while PIJ may be under pressure by Hamas to restrain itself, PIJ is not a signatory to the reconciliation deal and may choose to attack Israel knowing that Hamas will be the target of any Israeli retaliation.

In late October, Israeli forces destroyed an underground tunnel at the border with the Gaza Strip, killing at least 12 members of the Islamic Jihad movement listed as terrorist organization by Israel and the United States. While the tunnels in Gaza are used by Hamas as a source of tax revenue and inflow of weapons, they also supply highly demanded necessities for Gazans - who have been trapped under Israeli siege for a decade - including food, medicine, and much-needed infrastructure materials.

In his YouTube message, Mordechai referred to those reconciliation efforts, saying Islamic Jihad was "playing with fire" and potentially threatening the talks as well as the safety of Gaza Strip residents.

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