Israel issues strong warning against Hamas and Islamic Jihad
Nov 14 2017 by Desiree Burns
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Gaza militants Sunday against attacks as the Islamic Jihad group vowed revenge for the demolition of one of its tunnels that crossed into Israel. Any attacks by the Islamic Jihad will elicit a strong response, not only against them, but also against Hamas.
We are aware of ongoing efforts by the Palestine Islamic Jihad against Israel. Islamic Jihad responded to Mordechai's video on Sunday, calling it a "declaration of war".
Channel 2 news, citing high-ranking military officials, said the army deployed the batteries countrywide, especially in central Israel, and tightened security on the Gaza border after Islamic Jihad threatened to avenge the killing of 10 of the group's fighters when Israel destroyed a cross-border tunnel on Oct 31.
General Yoav Mordechai, head of the Government Coordinator in the Territories (COGAT) branch of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said in an Arabic-language video on Saturday that the army is aware of "the plot being prepared by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad against Israel, [who are] playing with fire on the backs of the residents of the Gaza Strip, and at the expense of internal Palestinian reconciliation and the entire region". 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.
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Last week, Netanyahu announced that Israel would hold on to the bodies of five terrorists killed in the tunnel blast, a move that Israeli lawmakers said would help in a potential exchange for the bodies of slain IDF soldiers held in Gaza.
Israel has deployed several missile defence system batteries following the escalation of tensions with militant Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip, according to local media.
He added that "the defense establishment is ready for any developments".
Israel Radio reported on Tuesday that the Israeli army has been put on a heightened state of alert and that Iron Dome batteries had been put in place in central Israel over fear of rocket attacks.