The IDF believes members of Islamic Jihad are planning an imminent attack that could take place in the coming days—or even hours.
The army spotted terrorists operating in several locations along the Israel-Gaza border fence who could be planning a missile launch or breaching the fence in an attempt to break into Israeli territory.
“I have ordered that IDF forces remain fully deployed around the Gaza Strip,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “This includes tanks, artillery, ground forces and air forces.”
Israel had braced this weekend for all out escalation for the year anniversary of the March of Return, which marked weekly Palestinian protests at the border. The march itself drew 40,000 people, significantly fewer than the 100,000 they were expecting.
But now the Islamic Jihad activity, which is apparently unrelated, is going on while Egyptian mediators are brokering a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Islamic Jihad said there is no truth to the IDF claim.
“From time to time Israel tries to create confusion in the Palestinian arena, but these attempts will fail,” the group said in a statement. Israel does not need to help when speaking of tension between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and groups like Islamic Jihad. They literally hate each other. My brother-in-law said something to me yesterday akin to how fortunate we are that the Muslims in the surrounding countries don’t focus on math, science, education or unity—then they would be a real threat. But they spend more time infighting to come up really any real plan against the Jewish nation.
In the last few weeks, rockets have been launched from Gaza, reaching further into Israel than ever before. One hit and destroyed a home just north of Tel Aviv sparing the family members who had just made it to their shelter.
Some 200 Gazans have been killed since protests began on March 30, 2018 and an Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper in July. The protesters want to “break the siege” and to return to land from which their ancestors fled when Israel was founded in 1948. It should be noted that they fled with the promise from the Arab countries that within weeks, Israel would be destroyed, and they could return. That was 71 years ago.