Islamic Jihad vow to 'punish occupier' following Israel's revenge-plot warning

Israel issues strong warning against Hamas and Islamic Jihad

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

The Trump administration's worldwide negotiations representative, Jason Greenblatt, on Monday called on the terror group to tone down its war rhetoric, tweeting, "Extremist statements & provocation vs. Israel by Islamic Jihad significantly harm the people of Gaza & are very risky".

"Threats to target the movement's leadership is a declaration of war, which we will confront", Palestine Today reported the group as saying on Sunday in response to Mordechai's warning.

PIJ is Gaza's second-largest terror faction behind Hamas, with an estimated 10,000 armed members as well as its own rocket arsenal and tunnel network.

"It should be clear", Mordechai added, "that for every Islamic Jihad response, Israel will respond with force and determination, not only to [Islamic] Jihad but also to Hamas".

On Saturday, the head of the Israeli military authority in the occupied Palestinian territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, said: "We are aware of the plot that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group plans against Israel... they are playing with fire at the expense of all of Gaza's residents".

Israel has always been concerned about the use of tunnels built by Hamas to both store weapons and infiltrate fighters into the country.

"[To] the commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Damascus and the leaders of the organization, Ramadan Shelah and Ziad Nakhla, quickly get your affairs in order, because it is you who will bear the responsibility". 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 Islamic Jihad will have a hard time holding back", said the unnamed senior official.

Despite Egyptian-led reconciliation attempts between Fatah and Hamas, recent developments demonstrate that pressure from Cairo may not be sufficient to disrupt a possible revenge attack by Islamic Jihad.

In what amounted to an admission that the city of Tel Aviv was vulnerable to attack by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the IDF revealed on Tuesday that it has deployed an Iron Dome missile defense battery in the Dan region - otherwise known as Tel Aviv and the surrounding suburbs.