Israel deploys anti-rocket system following Gaza militants threat

Israel issues strong warning against Hamas and Islamic Jihad

He addressed by name the terror group's leader, Ramadan Shalah, and his deputy, Ziad Nakhaleh, who run the Gaza-based group from Damascus, and said they would be "held responsible" should Islamic Jihad attack Israel.

In a recorded video, he warned of a "strong response to any act carried out by the Islamic Jihad" which he claimed would be "at the expense of the Gaza residents, [Palestinian] reconciliation and the whole region".

"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".

The move comes after the Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed Palestinian group, has vowed to avenge the demolition of one of its cross-border tunnels on October 31, during which at least 12 militants were killed.

PIJ responded to the IDF's announcement that it was keeping the bodies of five terrorists found in the tunnel by saying that Israel "will not be able to bargain over our fighters".

Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's special representative for worldwide negotiations, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that "extremist statements & provocation vs. Israel by Islamic Jihad significantly harm the people of Gaza & are very unsafe".

The system, created to intercept short-range rockets, has defended against hundreds of rockets fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza during Israel's military campaign there in 2014.

"The Islamic Jihad will have a hard time holding back", said the unnamed senior official. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, in an Army Radio interview on Saturday, said, "there are nonstop attacks to commit attacks in Judea and Samaria".

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.

On Monday, the IDF deployed Iron Dome missile defense batteries throughout central Israel and began military drills in the vicinity of Gaza.

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