Israel arrests top Islamic Jihad operative as tensions rise

A 17-year-old Palestinian boy is paraded through Khan Yunis in Gaza ahead of his wedding. AFP

The IDF arrested one of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group's senior commanders on Monday.

A member of Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas gestures while searching for missing or dead militants after Israel blew up a cross-border tunnel, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 3, 2017. But Palestinians say tunnels are used to ease the crippling siege on Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt.

On Saturday, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who oversees the branch of the Defense Ministry responsible for liaising with the Palestinians on civil and security issues, warned Islamic Jihad against responding to Israel's demolition of a tunnel in late October that was dug into Israeli territory from Gaza.

"In any event, we see Hamas responsible to any attack launched or organized from the Gaza Strip against us", he said. They are playing with fire not just against themselves but Hamas as well as on the backs of innocent Gaza residents.

"We are aware of the plot that the Islamic Jihad has been planning against Israel", Mordechai declared.

Amid warnings of planned terror activity in retaliation for IDF operations against the Islamic Jihad, Israel has set up Iron Dome batteries in several locations in the center of the country. He added in a brief statement: "The valiant resistance will always stand ready to assume its duty to protect our people and impede the occupation equations".

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