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Islamic Jihad Threatens to Attack Israeli Cities

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14 Nov 2017 (All day)
Islamic Jihad Threatens to Attack Israeli Cities
The Iranian-backed Islamist terror militia Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has, according to reports in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, put itself on “maximum alert” Tuesday morning in response to Israel’s recent arrest of one of PIJ’s senior agents and a large-scale IDF exercise near the Gaza border. Israel has responded by deploying Iron Dome air defense batteries around potential targets for PIJ rocket squads, even as warnings to PIJ against launching any attacks poured in from around the world.

“Extremist statements & provocation vs. Israel by Islamic Jihad significantly harm the people of Gaza & are very dangerous," wrote US special envoy Jason Greenblatt on Twitter. “The PA must resume full responsibility in Gaza. [The] US is working with the PA, Israel, Egypt & others to try to improve the situation. Gaza deserves better." These comments echoed a similar statement earlier in the week by UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, as well as several world governments.

Senior PIJ operative Tariq Qa’adan was being held at an undisclosed location following his arrest by the IDF in the West Bank early Monday morning. A PIJ statement to one of its affiliated media organizations declared: “This unjust arrest of the leader Qa’adan is a part of the occupation’s latest escalation against Islamic Jihad and our people.” This followed an earlier statement: “Threats to target the movement’s leadership is a declaration of war, which we will confront.”

Haredi Extremists Suffer Legal Setbacks
In a potentially landmark case, Yehudah Glickman, an Ultra-Orthodox (haredi) officer serving in the IDF, was awarded NIS 500,000 by the Ramle District Court on Monday. The award was the result of a civil suit against four leaders of the haredi community who had led a campaign of incitement and slander against Glickman and his family over his decision to serve in the military. In related news, extreme right-wing activist Bentzi Gopstein was summoned for a pre-indictment court hearing at the Jerusalem District Prosecutor’s Office on Monday to deal with charges of incitement to terrorism, violence and racism, as well as obstruction of justice.

Turkey and Russia Growing Closer
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi Monday, declaring that relations between the two countries are in excellent shape. Their discussions reportedly centered around the ongoing conflict in Syria and what they described as a “joint battle against terrorism” as well as cooperation in the energy sector and Erdogan’s lingering desire to purchase the S-400 air defense system from Moscow.

Regarding the conflict in Syria, Putin asserted that "Our joint work with Turkey and Iran has brought concrete results. Violence has abated, and favorable conditions have been created for advancing an inter-Syrian dialogue under the UN auspices. We are united in the need to increase efforts to ensure the long-term stabilization [of Syria], above all to advance the process of a political settlement."

IDF Bases to Move to the Negev
Israel’s Defense Ministry is reportedly proceeding with plans to move several bases and thousands of personnel to the Negev Desert, freeing up space in the center of the country for commercial and residential development while promoting the settlement of the periphery. “The IDF is the most important social and economic engine in the country, and this is only one example of the tremendous potential of the IDF’s transfer to the Negev,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Sunday.

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