IDF deploys Iron Dome for fear of Islamic Jihad retaliation

Israeli security forces arrested one of the high-ranking terrorists in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization in the West Bank Sunday night. He was arrested in his home in Arrabeh, southwest of Jenin, in the Shomron (Samaria) region.

Islamic Jihad, on their part, has sent instructions to their followers to commit a major terrorist attack against Israel as soon as possible.

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 remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Political Analyst Mustafa Ibrahim said that Israel was seeking to distort the Palestinian reconciliation and accuse Hamas and the Islamic Jihad of working for Iranian interests.

The Arabic video posted by Mordechai said: "We're aware of the plot that Palestinian Islamic Jihad is concocting against Israel".

Islamic Jihad responded by saying that "the Zionist enemy's threats to harm the organization's leadership are a declaration of war". Ten members of the group died in the tunnel.

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 U.N. also voiced its concern about the threat of an imminent attack by the Islamic Jihad and the potential repercussions, in particular on an ongoing reconciliation process between the leading Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas to bring Gaza back under the control of the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority. Twelve Hamas and PIJ fighters, including senior military commanders, were killed in the subsequent explosions in the tunnel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, November 12, 2017.

"Our account with them will not be closed except with a response", he said.

Vanessa Coleman