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IDF says it has begun striking in Gaza, after 4 days of Islamic Jihad threats

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The Israel Defense Forces said Friday afternoon it had begun to strike targets in the Gaza Strip, hours after Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned the Palestinian Islamic Jihad that Israel would take action if the terror group does not back down from its intentions to carry out attacks against the country.

The terror group has been threatening since Tuesday to attack in response to the arrest of its West Bank leader, causing days of road closures and community lockdowns in areas near the border under immediate threat.

In a brief statement, the IDF said it was striking in the Strip, and that a “special situation” had been declared on the home front. It said further details would be provided later.

A “special situation” is a legal term used in times of emergency, granting authorities greater jurisdiction over the civilian population in order to streamline efforts to safeguard the population.

Palestinian media reports said the IDF struck a position in northern Gaza.

Tensions around the Gaza Strip spiked following the arrest of Bassam Saadi in Jenin on Monday night. Since then, the Israel Defense Forces has bolstered forces and shuttered routes along the border due to fear of an imminent revenge anti-tank guided missile or sniper attack by the Islamic Jihad. The precautions have largely placed residents of the border communities under lockdown.

“To our enemies in general and to the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad I say explicitly, ‘Your time is limited. The threat will be removed one way or another,'” Gantz said during a press conference at the military’s Southern Command in Beersheba.

#BREAKING: Smoke rising from Gaza City, amid reports of Israeli airstrikes on Palestinian Islamic Jihad positions in Gaza,........

© The Times of Israel

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