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Military court extends detention of Islamic Jihad leader that sparked Gaza conflict

18 22 15

A military court on Thursday extended the remand of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad member, a week after his arrest sparked a round of fighting between Israel and the terror group in the Gaza Strip.

Bassem Saadi was arrested on July 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 on Friday 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 has no intention of releasing the prisoners early, officials said after the ceasefire. On Wednesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said he was “not familiar with a promise to release........

© The Times of Israel

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