"We are aware of the plot being waged by Palestinian Islamic Jihad against Israel". The destruction from three Israeli offensives since 2008, including damage to the enclave's water, sanitation, energy, and medical facilities, coupled with slow reconstruction due to the blockade, led the United Nations to warn that Gaza could be "uninhabitable" by 2020. The report stated that the terrorist group also has upped its readiness to the highest level.
Earlier on Monday, the IDF said that West Bank-based PIJ leader Tariq Qa'adan had been arrested, prompting outrage from the group, which said it was "part of the occupation's latest escalation against Islamic Jihad and our people", according to Palestine Today, a news site affiliated with the group. The freedom tunnel is not the only tunnel owned by the Islamic Jihad.
On Sunday, Khaled al-Batash, a senior PIJ official in Gaza said his group has other choices to "punish" Israel for killing its members who had been working on the tunnel for more than a year.
The Israel Defense Forces blew up the tunnel, which originated in the Gazan city of Khan Younis and crossed into Israeli territory, near Kibbutz Kissufim, on October 30.
In a recorded video, he warned of a "strong response to any act carried out by the Islamic Jihad" which he claimed would be "at the expense of the Gaza residents, [Palestinian] reconciliation and the whole region". "We advise the Islamic Jihad leadership in Damascus to be careful and get things under control", he continued.
Almost two weeks after the Israeli army blew up a tunnel that ran between the southern Gaza Strip and Israel, killing 12 Palestinian fighters from the Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements, Israel has continued to exchange threats with the groups, saying that it will "respond with force" to any retaliation from Gaza.
"The reckless actions and statements of militants in Gaza risk a risky escalation".