Israel arrests Islamic Jihad's leader in West Bank

Iron Dome

Israel issues strong warning against Hamas and Islamic Jihad

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. The terror group is known to have Katyusha rockets, which could reach the densely populated area. Israeli news website Ynet reported on Sunday that Major General of the Israeli army, Yoav Mordechai, released a video in Arabic on Saturday night vowing to "respond with power and determination" to any "revenge attack" staged by the groups.

The group said it would not back down on its "right" to retaliate against Israel for the tunnel explosion, which led to the deaths of 12 of its members, including two commanders, as well as two members of Hamas's military wing.

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

Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's special representative for worldwide negotiations, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that "extremist statements & provocation vs. Israel by Islamic Jihad significantly harm the people of Gaza & are very unsafe".

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Referring to the Israeli operation on October 30, he said that Israel "destroyed a terror tunnel in Israeli sovereign territory".

PIJ responded to the IDF's announcement that it was keeping the bodies of five terrorists found in the tunnel by saying that Israel "will not be able to bargain over our fighters".

He warned 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 - a message echoed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. "In any case, we see Hamas as responsible for every attack that emanates from, or is planned against us in the Gaza Strip", he said. "We will take a very strong hand against anyone who tries to attack us or attacks us from any theater".

"Our account with them will not be closed except with a response", he said.

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