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

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A military court on Tuesday further extended the remand of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad member, whose arrest at the beginning of the month sparked a round of fighting between Israel and the terror group in the Gaza Strip.

The court at the Ofer military base ordered that Bassem Saadi be held for another six days, until August 21.

Saadi was arrested on August 1 by Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Jenin. The PIJ in response announced it was declaring a state of alert. The Israel Defense Forces, saying it had concrete indications of an imminent attack on the Gaza border, put the area on lockdown for several days.

The lockdown was maintained for four days amid concerns that PIJ would try to fire anti-tank missiles at Israeli targets along the border. Eventually, the IDF 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 toward the release of” Saadi and another Palestinian detainee, Khalil Awawdeh, a terror........

© The Times of Israel

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