Thursday, Nov. 23
Latest News
  1. Israeli forces raid Hebron committee headquarters
  2. Israeli authorities ban Palestinian Jerusalemite entry to Old City
  3. Israeli forces detain 15 Palestinians in overnight West Bank raids
  4. Israel demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem
  5. Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinians near Gaza border
  6. Israeli forces detain 10 Palestinians, 5 women, in East Jerusalem
  7. Hamas and Fatah meet in Cairo to continue reconciliation talks
  8. Israeli forces detain 21 Palestinians, journalist, in West Bank raids
  9. Israeli forces open fire on fishermen, level lands in Gaza
  10. Hundreds cross Rafah as Egypt continues to open crossing for 3rd day

Weeks after deadly tunnel attack, Israel and Islamic Jihad exchange threats

Nov. 12, 2017 1:17 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 13, 2017 5:07 P.M.)
Hamas gunmen in Gaza (File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Nearly two weeks after the Israeli army blew up a tunnel that ran between the southern Gaza Strip and Israel, killing 12 Palestinian fighters from the Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements, Israel has continued to exchange threats with the groups, saying that it will “respond with force” to any retaliation from Gaza.

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.

“(Islamic Jihad) is playing with fire at the expense of the residents of the Gaza Strip, at the expense of the Palestinian reconciliation agreements and the entire region,” Mordechai said.

Islamic Jihad responded to Mordechai's video on Sunday, calling it a “declaration of war.”

“The threat by the enemy to harm the leadership is a declaration of war and we will deal with them,” the organization said in a statement.

Also on Sunday, Khaled al-Batash, a senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza, said the organization will “have no other choice to punish Israel for killing its members,” Ynet said.

“Israel has killed 12 Palestinians in Gaza and another one in the West (Bank) over the last two weeks … 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.

Israeli officials have accused Hamas of "preparing" for another war with Israel and have threatened retaliatory measures against the Gaza Strip as a whole. However, despite Hamas' inflammatory rhetoric against Israel, the movement has not officially claimed responsibility for any military action from Gaza against Israel since the 2014 war.

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.

The majority of the two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to the continuation of the military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.

The destruction from three Israeli offensives since 2008, including damage to the enclave’s water, sanitation, energy, and medical facilities, coupled with slow reconstruction due to the blockade, led the UN to warn that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020.

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2017