Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
IDF armor reservists near the Israeli border with Gaza, July 31, 2014.

Israeli security personnel passed along a warning to Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, via Egyptian mediators, not to allow its Iranian-backed ally – the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group – to escalate tensions.

The warning was sent following the arrest in Jenin on Monday night of senior PIJ terrorist leader Bassam al-Saadi, 62, by IDF Special Forces and Shin Bet intelligence agents.

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IDF on High Alert after Arrest of Senior Islamic Jihad Terrorist in Jenin

A second suspect, believed to be al-Saadi’s son-in-law and aide, was arrested as well. Most of the members of al-Saadi’s immediate family, including his wife and four son, have served time in Israel prisons, as has al-Saadi himself.

Israeli forces killed one terrorist and injured several others during the heavy fighting that took place during the counter terrorism arrest operation. No Israeli casualties were reported.

On Tuesday, the IDF closed roads in southern Israel that ran along the Gaza border due to concerns over possible retaliation by the terror group.

“In light of a situation assessment and following terrorist activities associated with the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization,” including threats by the group to retaliate, the IDF announced the closure of all roads surrounding Gaza.

Railway service was also shut down, the Zikim beach was closed, and farmers were ordered to stay out of their fields along the border. In addition, the IDF announced the closure of the Erez land crossing, which meant Gazan workers were not able to cross into Israel for their jobs.

The closures were relaxed hours later, but some of the roads were still shut down on Tuesday night.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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