Islamic Jihad threatens revenge for death of 3 Palestinians
Islamic Jihad threatens to respond to killing of three Palestinian teens who were seen planting what appears to be an explosive on the border fence; hundreds of Palestinians march near the homes of senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad members demanding revenge.
The Islamic Jihad threatened on Monday to avenge the death of three Palestinian teens killed in an incident near the border fence Sunday, saying that "the resistance will respond to this crime in a way that suits its magnitude."
The three Gazans were killed in an IDF airstrike near Khan Yunis after they were spotted planting a suspicious object on the border fence, believed to be an explosive device.
A preliminary IDF investigation revealed that the three were spotted by a Gaza Division observation post while crawling towards the security fence holding a suspicious object in the dark. They fiddled with the object on the ground near the security fence before being shot by the IAF.
According to the Palestinians, the three were teenagers: two were 14 years old and one was 13 years old.
After waiting for Israel's permission to reach the three, Palestinian health officials pronounced them dead and their bodies were then transferred to a hospital in the strip.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the army will continue to investigation the incident.
In response to the deaths, hundreds of Palestinians protested throughout the Gaza Strip early Monday, calling on Hamas and Islamic Jihad to respond to the killings.
Demonstrators marched in protest rallies near the homes of senior members of the terrorist organizations demanding revenge. Among other things, protesters called on Islamic Jihad members to uphold the promise they made over the weekend that "blood will be answered with blood."
Pictures showing the bodies of the teenagers lying side by side in the hospital spread across media outlets and social media.
After a rocket hit a house in Be'er Sheva two weeks ago, the Security Cabinet instructed the IDF to gradually exacerbate its retaliatory actions to violence along the security fence and to adopt a zero-tolerance approach.
Last Friday, four Palestinians were killed in riots along the fence. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that some 16,000 demonstrators participated in the riots, burning tires, hurling Molotov cocktails, hand grenades and stones at the security forces.
Meanwhile, dozens of residents from Gaza border communities protested in Tel Aviv on Sunday evening against the current wave of rockets launched from Gaza over the weekend, and "Israel’s lack of reaction."
Shira Masami from Sderot explained that the residents demand security. “We are enraged that after an entire Shabbat of rocket attacks, day and night, nothing is being done. We don’t want to raise children under rocket attacks.”
The last round of fighting in the southern front occurred over the weekend, when Israeli Air Force aircraft struck dozens of terror sites across the Gaza Strip early Saturday in response to some 39 rockets launched into Israel from Gaza, in the heaviest exchange of fire since August.
Out of the 39 rockets launched into Israel, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 17. Two rockets landed inside the Gaza Strip and the rest landed in open areas in Israel. As a result, seven people were evacuated Saturday to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon: six suffered from minor injuries, while another person was treated for shock.
Following the rocket fire, the IDF launched a series of attacks across the Gaza Strip. According to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, about 80 Hamas terrorist targets were attacked including a building that served as Hamas Security Service's headquarters in Gaza's al-Daraj neighborhood. Dozens of planes, fighter jets and other aircraft were used in the operation. No injuries were reported among the soldiers.
On Saturday morning, IAF aircraft bombed eight Islamic Jihad targets in response to early morning rockets. The targets included three military sites, including sites for the manufacture of weapons in the northern Gaza Strip and a tunnel-manufacturing facility in the southern Gaza Strip.