Military court extends detention of Islamic Jihad leader that sparked Gaza conflict
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
A military court again extends the remand of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad member, some 10 days after his arrest sparked a round of fighting between Israel and the terror group in the Gaza Strip.
The court orders Bassem Saadi held at least until August 21.
Saadi was arrested on August 1 by Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Jenin. The PIJ at the time announced it was declaring a state of alert, and the Israel Defense Forces said it had concrete indications of an imminent attack on the Gaza border, putting the area on lockdown for several days.
The IDF then launched a series of airstrikes in Gaza against a senior PIJ commander and several anti-tank guided missile squads, which prompted rocket fire from the Strip.
After nearly three days of fighting a ceasefire agreement was signed, which reportedly included “Egypt’s commitment to work towards the release of” Saadi and another Palestinian detainee, Khalil Awawdeh, a terror group spokesperson said.
Israel says it has no intention of releasing him.