(JNS.org) The IDF said it deployed Iron Dome missile defense batteries throughout central Israel on Monday amid the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist group’s threat that it will avenge Israel’s recent destruction of a cross-border attack tunnel.
Ten PIJ operatives, including two senior commanders, were killed during Israel’s operation to destroy the tunnel. PIJ stated that Israel’s “threats to target the movement’s leadership is a declaration of war, which we will confront.” The terror group’s threat came after Israeli Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai warned PIJ not to retaliate for the tunnel’s destruction, stating that “any attack by the Islamic Jihad will be met with a powerful and determined Israeli response, not only against the Jihad, but also against Hamas,” which controls Gaza.
PIJ is Gaza’s second-largest terror faction behind Hamas, with an estimated 10,000 armed members as well as its own rocket arsenal and tunnel network. It has a unique religious affinity with the Iranian Shi’a regime, and might be receiving messages from Tehran to escalate the Palestinian conflict with Israel.