Israel Arrests Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commander, Warns Terror Group against Escalation

Israel Arrests Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commander, Warns Terror Group against Escalation”

Israel deployed anti-rocket systems and raised its security alert on Monday, fearing a retaliatory attack from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, in response to the deadly bombing of Palestinian tunnels in Gaza last month.

Two of the dead belonged to the military wing of Hamas, with the other ten from Islamic Jihad.

At least twelve Palestinians were killed in an explosion on 30 October after the Israeli army destroyed a tunnel, which it said was in the process of being dug from the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, which borders Israel.

"These days, there are still those who toy with trying renewed attacks on Israel", Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

The arrest comes is tension between Israel and the Islamic Jihad are high.

On Saturday, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who runs the Defense Ministry's chief liaison office with the Palestinians, publicly warned Islamic Jihad in a video posted to YouTube. "I mean anyone - rebel factions, organisations, anyone", he said in an apparent reference to Islamic Jihad. Take control of events for you will be blamed [for what follows].

Islamic Jihad rejected Mordechai's message, saying "the enemy's threat to target the leaders of the movement" was "a declaration of war".

Israel has said it is holding the bodies of five militants retrieved from the tunnel and implied it would try to use them as bargaining chips to retrieve the remains of two Israeli soldiers believed to be held by Hamas. The Gaza-based group also has presence in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, the head of the Energy Authority, Zafer Melhem, said that work is underway to rehabilitate of electricity network in the Gaza Strip and the minute the plan is ready, it will be presented to the Council of Ministers for approval and then to securing funding for it from the donors.

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