Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Following reports that Israel is holding five bodies of Islamic Jihad members who were killed in the Gaza terror tunnel bombing, and the group’s threats to “force the enemy to return them,” Prime Minister Netanyahu announced on Monday that “we will attack those who try to attack us, we do not hand out free gifts.”

By free gifts, the PM was referring to the fact that while Arab terrorists in Gaza are still holding on to the bodies of two IDF MIAs as well as two Israeli civilians who strayed across the border, they demand that Israel return the Arab terrorists’ bodies.


Netanyahu spoke after the IDF had released a statement Sunday that “over the past few days, the Southern Command and the Gaza Division have carried out complementary operations to expose and thwart the tunnel of terror that was neutralized on October 30, 2017 in Israeli territory. In the course of the work, five terrorist bodies were found in Israeli territory.”

Daoud Shihab, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, responded to the IDF message with a threat, saying: “We are committed to working for the return of these bodies, in a way that will force the enemy to do so. This is a heavy responsibility placed on our shoulders and our commitment is to our people and the families of those killed.”

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum also responded to the announcement with his own threat, saying that “Holding the bodies of those killed in the tunnel by Israel is a sign of weakness, expressed in the way it deals with resistance. This behavior will not dissuade the resistance from continuing to develop its capabilities and preparing to defend our Palestinian people in any confrontation with the occupation.”

That’s a whole lot of pots calling the kettle black.