Israel reportedly threatens to cancel Gaza truce if Islamic Jihad heads enter Strip
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Israel reportedly threatens to cancel Gaza truce if Islamic Jihad heads enter Strip

Two of Iranian-linked group's top officials planned to join Hamas leader Mashaal for visit on Friday

Members of Hamas rival organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad praying in Gaza on the 17th anniversary of the death of the group's founder, Fathi Shikaki (Photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash 90)
Members of Hamas rival organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad praying in Gaza on the 17th anniversary of the death of the group's founder, Fathi Shikaki (Photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash 90)

GAZA CITY — Members of Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad say Israel has warned the militant group’s two top leaders against trying to enter the Gaza Strip this week.

The pair, Ramadan Abdallah Shalah and his deputy Ziad Nakhaleh, had planned to visit Friday, along with the leader-in-exile of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal.

Israel warned that it would consider the three-week truce with Gaza over should the Islamic Jhad leaders enter the Strip, according to two Islamic Jihad members, who said the message was relayed by Egypt. The two spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss the issue with the media.

Islamic Jihad is Hamas’s sister group and was instrumental in helping the terror group battle Israel during last month’s Gaza mini-war. The group is considered more hard-line by Israel, though it was party to the truce agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas have been holding indirect talks, through Egypt, following Operation Pillar of Defense, which Israel launched to halt Gazan rocket fire on Israeli civilians.

The Defense Ministry had no immediate comment.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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