The Islamic Jihad group that is allied with the Islamist Hamas organization, which controls the Gaza Strip, threatened to retaliate – two weeks after Israel blew up an attack tunnel that had penetrated into its territory from the Palestinian enclave, which resulted in the death 15 Islamic Jihad and Hamas operatives. While Israel has promised to respond to any revenge attack with “power and determination,” Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized that Jerusalem views the Islamic Hamas organization as solely responsible for any attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip. PM Netanyahu said, “In any case, we view Hamas as responsible for any attacks that emanate from Gaza against us, or even organized in Gaza against us,” the Israeli leader emphasized.
The threats voiced in Jerusalem toward the Islamist organization in Gaza came after a senior Islamic Jihad official in the Palestinian enclave, Khaled al-Batash, said his organization will have no other choice but to “punish” Israel for killing its members. The threat prompted the IDF to deploy additional troops on its southern border with the Gaza Strip, with an official statement by the IDF spokesman vowing to target the leaders of the Islamic Jihad if it were to test Israel’s determination.