The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Monday stationed a battery of its missile defense system the Iron Dome in the country's center near Tel Aviv, Israeli meda reports on Tuesday, a preemptive move tensions with Gaza come to a boil.
Earlier this month, a senior officer in the IDF's Southern Command warned that the military suspected the terror group may retaliate for the tunnel demolition with attacks on soldiers serving near the border, rocket fire at southern Israeli communities or terror attacks in the West Bank. Responding to the Israeli warning, Islamic Jihad said Sunday that "Israeli threats are the result of fear and concern over the Palestinian response to their crimes".
For its part Hamas has said that "the courageous resistance will always continue to be ready".
In a message in Arabic published on Saturday, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) head Maj. -Gen. Yoav "Poly" Mordechai. "They are a declaration of war and we will act against it".
"It should be clear: Any retaliation of any kind by the Islamic Jihad will be met with a powerful and determined Israeli response, not only against the Jihad, but also against Hamas", Mordechai warned.
The IDF estimates that the Islamic Jihad is planning an attack on the Jewish State following the IDF's demolition of a Gaza terror tunnel some two weeks ago.
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The Israel Defense Forces blew up the tunnel, which originated in the Gazan city of Khan Younis and crossed into Israeli territory, near Kibbutz Kissufim, on October 30.
In response to the tunnel threat, Israel has begun building a state-of-the-art underground barrier which has a system of advanced sensors and monitoring devices to detect tunnels combined with a 6 m. high above-ground smart fence.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Gaza-based Palestinian terror groups not to attack Israel.
According to the army, the tunnel had been under surveillance the entire time that it was inside Israeli territory and did not pose a threat to civilians. The destruction from three Israeli offensives since 2008, including damage to the enclave's water, sanitation, energy, and medical facilities, coupled with slow reconstruction due to the blockade, led the United Nations to warn that Gaza could be "uninhabitable" by 2020.
But PA President Mahmoud Abbas was recently summoned by Saudi Arabia where he was reported to have been pressured by Riyadh to stop the reconciliation talks with Hamas which has been increasingly courting its main foe Iran after years of disagreements. Israeli officials have accused Hamas of "preparing" for another war with Israel and have threatened retaliatory measures against the Gaza Strip as a whole.
So while both Israel and Hamas may not be gunning for another round of conflict, nothing is holding PIJ back from carrying out an attack against Israel and bringing all groups into another bloody confrontation.
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