Israel warns Hamas, Islamic Jihad against retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza

‘If you shoot [rockets], we will respond harshly,’ IDF tells Gaza-based terror groups.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

After the Israeli army launched a wide scale operation targeting terrorists in Jenin on Monday morning, the military warned the Gaza-based Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups not to launch retaliatory rocket fire against Israel.

According to Kan News, senior military officials sent strongly-worded messages to their counterparts in the terror groups, urging them to avoid responding to the IDF offensive in Jenin.

“Don’t intervene because you are not being targeted. If you shoot [rockets], we will respond harshly. An attack would be a mistake, and we will respond with all our might,” a source told Kan News, describing the message sent to senior terror operatives.

In a statement, Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh called on the Palestinian people “to support Jenin and safeguard its citizens to foil [Israel’s] schemes.”

Haniyeh added that “the outcome of [Israel’s] offensive against Jenin will shape the forthcoming phase.”

Jenin has long served as a hotbed for terror groups, as the weakened Palestinian Authority has lost legitimacy and governing power in the city.

Numerous deadly attacks against Israeli civilians in recent years have been carried out by terrorists from the city or nearby towns and villages.

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It’s unclear whether Hamas will respond with rocket fire to the Israeli counterterror raid of the city. While the terror group does use the city as an operations base, along with Islamic Jihad, Hamas has been reticent to engage in conflict with Israel since the May 2021 Operation Guardian of the Walls clash.

During the recent May 2023 Operation Shield and Arrow fighting, Hamas did not launch rockets at Israel after the IAF targeted Islamic Jihad sites in the Strip.

In August 2022, Hamas similarly did not respond or aid the Islamic Jihad terror group when its assets were bombed by the Israeli air force, choosing to stay out of the conflict.