Gaza’s Hamas rulers prevented the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from firing rockets toward Israel after three of the latter terror group’s operatives were killed in a West Bank firefight with Israeli security forces over the weekend, the Kan public broadcaster reported Monday.
Palestinian sources told the broadcaster that Hamas made it clear that it was not currently interested in another round of fighting with Israel in Gaza.
Last May, tensions over clashes in Jerusalem spiraled into a large-scale conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The report said Hamas did not want to be dragged into a conflict by Islamic Jihad. If it does go to war with Israel again it wants it to be on its own terms.
Hamas, the report said, exerted heavy pressure on Islamic Jihad and prevented the rocket fire.
Islamic Jihad had been eager to respond after troops killed three of its gunmen who were allegedly en route from the Jenin area to carry out an attack in Israel in the predawn hours of Saturday.
An alleged fourth member of the cell was arrested in a rare daylight operation in the town of Shuweika, near the West Bank city of Tulkarem.
Officials described the three cell members as “ticking bombs” who were ready to carry out an attack.
The raid on the cell came following a series of deadly terror attacks in Israel within a span of days that left 11 people dead and put Israeli security forces on heightened alert. The escalation has come as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins — often a period of high tension in Israel and the West Bank.
Israel has ramped up security measures in response to the attacks and deployed additional forces to the West Bank, Gaza border and major cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Israeli officials have sought to quell the tensions as Ramadan begins amid fears that the violence could snowball into the same type of unrest that rocked Israel in May 2021, when Hamas began shooting rockets into Israel, sparking an 11-day war with Gaza and days of rioting between Arabs and Jews inside Israel.