Israel Increases Forces in South as Terror Groups Promise New Round of Violence

Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists participate in a military show in Gaza City. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

Israel was redoubling its forces in the south, after terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad said on Sunday that this coming Friday would be “a day of great testing for the enemy.” On the weekend, the terror groups threatened to increase attacks against Israel, after four rioters died Friday after attacking Israeli soldiers.

The four were shot during violent riots which continued along the Gaza border fence Friday afternoon. Gaza rioters threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli soldiers, who used anti-riot measures to keep rioters away from the border fence.

Some 8,000 rioters were at the fence Friday, the 39th week in a row that the border riots took place. Gaza sources said that Israeli soldiers shot and killed two teen rioters, while two others were injured and later died of their wounds. Forty rioters were injured. On Sunday, the terror groups said they “will not sit quietly while out people are killed.”

The IDF is concerned that Hamas could stage riots even before Friday, hence the buildup of forces in the south. Israeli sources told Channel 20 that if the terror groups once again began shooting missiles at Israel, the IDF’s response would be “harsh and powerful. We will not allow a repeat of the recent events” in which Gaza terrorists shot nearly 500 missiles at Israel within several days. “The response will not be ‘measured’ this time, but will be a harsh strike at Hamas.”

Speaking on Channel 20, attorney Yoram Sheftel said that the new round of violence should not have been unexpected. “Someone in Gaza noticed that the rioting was profitable – the terror group got $60 million in Qatari money for rioting. But for extortionists, it’s never enough – and if they can extort more money out of Israel with more rioting why wouldn’t they do it?”