In what is being seen as a “rare” move, Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization has arrested dozens of Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives in the enclave over the past several days.
The move comes in the wake of PIJ’s attempts to spark new confrontations with Israel, allegedly in contradiction to the position of Hamas.
According to Arab sources quoted in a report by the Kan public broadcasting network’s Hebrew-language military affairs reporter Gal Berger, Hamas foiled a rocket attack by PIJ aimed at Ashdod at the end of last week.
PIJ has challenged the authority of Hamas over the enclave in the past six months, particularly since the election of Ziyad Nakhla to head Islamic Jihad.
Last week Islamic Jihad demanded that Hamas release its detained men and threatened to withdraw from the joint military headquarters shared with Hamas if its people are not freed.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi has instructed the Israeli military in recent weeks to update its offensive plans regarding the southern front, as well as to increase preparedness for a likely escalation in the coming months.