Amidst fear of a retaliatory attack by the Palestinian resistance group after blasting of the group's tunnel in late October, taking the lives of 14 members belonging to Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the IOF upped its alertness on Monday, after already issuing a statement on Sunday. As part of this move, the IOF rolled out the Iron Dome defense system for the center of the "Israeli" entity.
Two weeks after the "Israeli" entity blew up the tunnel, which had penetrated into its territory from Gaza, the entity promised on Sunday to respond to any revenge attack with "power and determination."
Earlier the same day, a senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza, Khaled al-Batash, said his resistance organization will have no other choice to "punish" the "Israeli" entity for causing the death of its members.
"‘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 said.
Among those martyred were senior commanders of groups while another 11 were wounded in the explosions.
Warning Islamic Jihad in Arabic that it is "playing with fire" in a video uploaded on Saturday night, Maj. Gen. Yoav [Poli] Mordechai stressed that the entity would respond to any attack against the group itself and Hamas. "We will respond with force against Hamas," Mordechai said.
"It should be clear: any response by Islamic Jihad, whatever it may be, will be responded to by ‘Israel' with power and determination, not only against Islamic Jihad but also against Hamas. We advise the Islamic Jihad leadership in Damascus to be careful and get things under control," he continued.
Islamic Jihad, for its part, said on Sunday that the Mordechai's promise to target its leadership in the event of any "revenge attacks" launched against "Israel" is tantamount to "a declaration of war."
"We will not weaken the leadership of our people and of our land. The threat by the enemy to harm the leadership is on the border of a declaration of war and we will deal with them," the organization said in a statement.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team