Washington’s Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt warned Monday that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s threat of attack against Israel was “very dangerous” and harmful to the people of the Gaza Strip.
“Extremist statements & provocation vs. Israel by Islamic Jihad significantly harm the people of Gaza & are very dangerous,” Greenblatt tweeted. “The PA must resume full responsibility in Gaza. US is working with the PA, Israel, Egypt & others to try to improve the situation. Gaza deserves better.”
On Monday the Israeli army said it had deployed several Iron Dome missile defense batteries in central Israel amid heightened tensions with the Palestinian terror group.
The terror organization has seethed since the IDF demolished its border-crossing attack tunnel last month, which led to the death of 12 terror terrorists in the tunnel.
Defense officials have said the group is planning a retaliatory attack, and have warned it of dire consequences if that should happen.
But the organization has said it will not back down on its “right” to respond against Israel for the tunnel explosion.
The Israel Defense Forces blew up the tunnel, which originated in the Gazan city of Khan Younis and crossed into Israeli territory, near Kibbutz Kissufim, on October 30.
According to the army, the tunnel had been under surveillance the entire time that it was inside Israeli territory and did not pose a threat to civilians.
The army said later that killing the terrorists was not the primary objective of the tunnel demolition. The bodies of five terrorists who were working on the tunnel inside Israeli territory were recovered by the IDF, the army said.
According to Palestinian media, Hamas has encouraged Islamic Jihad to abstain from retaliating both in order to prevent further escalation with Israel and to prevent the reconciliation talks it has been conducting with the Palestinian Authority from falling apart.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.