Israel Deploys Iron Dome Systems Amid Rising Tensions With Gaza Based Militants

Elias Hubbard
November 14, 2017

Matching Israel's increased security alert status, Islamic Jihad has placed its terror operatives "on the highest security footing", the London-based Al-Hayat daily newspaper reported Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of the Israeli military authority in the occupied Palestinian territories, warned that Israel would give a "harsh and determined" response that would target Islamic Jihad's Damascus-based leaders as well as the Hamas movement, which has ruled Gaza for the past decade. "There are those who still amuse themselves these days by trying to renew attacks against Israel", Netanyahu remarked at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

The Israeli made the announcement on Monday, but did not elaborate on where the so-called Iron Dome batteries had exactly been installed. The group realizes that by taking action against Israel it was likely to elicit an Israeli response - which would, among other things, nearly certainly destroy the nascent reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. "When they kill men of the resistance, and especially from Islamic Jihad, we have no other choice but to punish the occupier, and continue to strengthen the buildup of forces from a conflict", al-Batash reportedly said. "We are swallowing our tongues for now". A report on Channel One showed residents mostly taking shelter during the daylight hours, with the IDF allowing farmers access to their fields only at night, when it would be harder for Gaza terrorists to follow their movements from across the border. "It is playing with fire at the expense of the citizens of Gaza, at the expense of Palestinian reconciliation and at the expense of the entire region".

Recent tensions come after repeated threats exchanged between the IDF and Islamic Jihad, after the IDF destroyed an Islamic Jihad-constructed tunnel in late October, killing 12 Palestinian militants. Any attacks by the Islamic Jihad will elicit a strong response, not only against them, but also against Hamas.

Daoud Shehab, an Islamic Jihad spokesman, called the comments by Netanyahu and Mordechai "a declaration of war".

The Islamic Jihad responded by saying that the IDF's statement was a "declaration of war".

On Tuesday morning, U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt warned Islamic Jihad to stop its threatening rhetoric.

The IDF arrested Tariq Qa'adan, an Islamic Jihad leader, in the West Bank early Monday morning due to his "activities" in the group.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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