Israel Arrests Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commander, Warns Terror Group against Escalation

U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon in southern Israel

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Two of the dead belonged to the military wing of Hamas, with the other ten from Islamic Jihad.

"These days, there are still those who toy with trying renewed attacks on Israel", Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. "We will take a very firm stance against anyone who tries to attack us or attacks us from any area".

"We renew our call on countries that believe in the twostate solution to recognize two states", Abbas said in a video message to a rally of thousands of Fatah supporters in the Gaza Strip.

At least twelve Palestinians were killed in an explosion on 30 October after the Israeli army destroyed a tunnel, which it said was in the process of being dug from the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, which borders Israel.

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According to Palestinian media, Hamas encouraged Islamic Jihad to abstain from retaliating both in order to prevent further escalation with Israel and to prevent the reconciliation talks it has been conducting with the Palestinian Authority from falling apart.

Egypt has been spearheading efforts to reconcile the Palestinian factions, which culminated in an agreement in October to end the 10-year division that plagued the Palestinians following Hamas takeover of power in Gaza in 2007. Take control of events for you will be blamed [for what follows]. "We will respond to it", the militant movement said in a Sunday statement, stressing it had "the right to respond" to the blowing up of the tunnel.

The Gaza front has been relatively peaceful for Israel since 2014 when more than 2100 Palestinians and 70 Israelis were killed in a 50-day war. The Gaza-based group also has presence in the West Bank.

The heated rhetoric comes at a sensitive time in Palestinian politics after a recent landmark reconciliation deal between rivals Fatah and Hamas.

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