Two days after agreeing to a cease-fire with Israel, the Gaza-based terrorist organization Islamic Jihad on Monday threatened to renew its attacks on Israeli communities in retaliation for the deaths of three Palestinians even after they were identified placing a suspicious object, believed to be an explosive device, on the border fence.
The Palestinians were spotted by a Gaza division observation post while they were crawling in the dark towards the security fence with the suspicious object.
After being pronounced dead, the Palestinians’ bodies were transferred to a hospital in the strip.
The IDF launched an investigation into the incident.
Islamic Jihad is an Iranian-backed terrorist group that sometimes operates independently of Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
The latest strike came after a surge in violence in the conflict on the Gaza border. Over the weekend, Hamas sent its largest volley of rockets in months over the Israeli border. The Iron Dome defense system intercepted all the rockets that posed a threat to populated areas, and the rest detonated in open areas.
In retaliation, the Israeli Air Force struck at least 80 targets in the Gaza Strip, including terrorist training sites and weapons storage facilities.
Meanwhile, residents of Israeli communities near the border – whose lives have been disrupted and whose fields have been burned in the eight months since Hamas began staging its weekly “marches of return” along the border and launching firebomb balloons and kites into Israel – launched a nationwide protest on Monday against the government’s lack of decisive action against terrorism from Gaza.
The residents marched to the Kerem Shalom border crossing – the only entry point of commercial goods from Israel into the Gaza Strip – and cut off access to it in protest against the transfer of goods into Gaza while Hamas continues to terrorize Israel’s southern communities.
Monday’s march was just one of many planned demonstrations, including a protest at a major junction in Tel Aviv the previous day.
“When there is a Color Red [rocket alert]near Gaza, the entire country will hear it,” organizers vowed.
The protests began on Saturday night when several dozen residents of border communities staged a protest at the Yad Mordechai intersection.
Yifat Ben Shoshan of Moshav Netiv Haasara, one of the organizers, said,
“We refuse to remain quiet about the situation. Our voice isn’t being heard and disaster is closer than ever.”
During the demonstration on Saturday, activists disclosed that they were planning to shut down high schools in their communities, and some parents kept younger children home from school on Sunday.
Merav Cohen of Kibbutz Ein Hashloshah, who initiated the school protest, said,
“We need to take action on our own behalf because no one will do it for us. We don’t want tragedy to strike before something is done to prevent it.”
Naama Shaked-Levy of Kibbutz Gvulot spent Sunday preparing placards with her three children, whom she did not send to school as part of the protest.
“My kids know why they’re staying home and we sat down to make picket signs,” she said. “It’s an important lesson in democracy. It doesn’t make sense for kids to be frightened of balloons and kites, and that everything here is burning.”
Miri Assulin, one of the organizers of Sunday’s Tel Aviv demonstration, said,
“We don’t intend to resume our routine and accept the ‘battered wife’ reality, where we’re promised that everything will be OK and then it happens again.”
Originally posted on Israel Hayom.