US warns Islamic Jihad to drop war threat against Israel

As IDF goes on high alert, US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt tells terror group to stand down or face the consequences.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations lashed out against the Islamic Jihad terror group for the threats they have recently made against Israel.  US envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted, “Extremist statements & provocation vs. Israel by Islamic Jihad significantly harm the people of Gaza & are very dangerous.”  Greenblatt also insisted that  the Palestinian Authority (PA) “must resume full responsibility in Gaza.”

Greenblatt was referring to the recently signed reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.  The PA has already encountering resistance, as Hamas is refusing to cede its security control of the Gaza Strip and of its massive military arsenal.  Hazem Atallah, the Palestinian national police commander, on Wednesday cast doubt on whether the reconciliation agreement can be carried out, warning that his forces cannot guarantee law and order unless Hamas disarms in Gaza.

Greenblatt said that the “US is working with the PA, Israel, Egypt & others to try to improve the situation. Gaza deserves better.”  Greenblatt’s statement came as the IDF on Monday deployed Iron Dome defense systems, and placed forces on  high alert, especially surrounding the Gaza Strip, in anticipation of a revenge attack carried out by the Islamic Jihad Terror group.

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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. A total of 14 terrorists were killed in the aftermath of the tunnel collapse, including two senior Islamic Jihad field commanders.  The Palestinian terror group has vowed revenge.

In a message in Arabic published on Saturday, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) head Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai warned the Islamic Jihad to abandon plans to take revenge on Israel, saying that Israel knows of their plans and is prepared to repel them.

“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 Islamic Jihad responded by saying that the IDF’s statement was a “declaration of war.”

“Threats to target the movement’s leadership is a declaration of war, which we will respond to,” the Islamic Jihad stated. “We reaffirm our right to respond to any attack, including our right to respond to the Israeli attack on the tunnel.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Gaza-based Palestinian terror groups not to attack Israel.  “There are those who still amuse themselves these days by trying to renew attacks against Israel,” Netanyahu remarked at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. “We will take a very firm stance against anyone who tries to attack us or attacks us from any area. I mean any source: rogue factions, organizations – anyone.”

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IDF forces on Sunday night apprehended a senior Islamic Jihad operative in the Palestinian town of Araba, in the Jenin area. This arrest may have been a preventive action against a pending attack in the Samaria area.