Islamic Jihad Threatens War With Israel After Gaza Strikes

Netanyahu says fighting with Gaza could 'take time'

Israeli forces attacked Islamic Jihad commanders in the Gaza Strip and the Syrian capital of Damascus on Tuesday morning, killing a commander in Gaza City, and killing the son of another Islamic Jihad figure and a civilian bystander in Damascus.

This unsurprisingly sparked anger, with Islamic Jihad firing at least 50 rockets at Israel, and threatening war, saying Israel had “crossed a red line” with their attacks, saying they amounted to a declaration of war on the Palestinians.

Israel can’t possibly have been surprised those attacks sparked a reaction, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added that this fight with the Gaza Strip “could take time.” He also tried to present the military operations as “everything required to protect ourselves.”

Unclear at this point is why the Netanyahu government chose to go after Islamic Jihad, and start that fighting just now. There was no obvious sign of activity from Islamic Jihad or anyone else in Gaza, and it’s the sort of fight Israel could’ve started at any time. That leaves open the question of why Netanyahu decided this was the time.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.