Violent Clash With Gaza May Be Imminent, Israeli Officials Worry

Officials suspect Islamic Jihad wants to strike on anniversary of leader’s targeted killing, while Hamas is frustrated by the actions of Qatar and Israel

Amos Harel
Amos Harel
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Defense officials are concerned about a possible escalation in tensions with the Gaza Strip in the near future, perhaps even as early as the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday, they told the security cabinet on Wednesday.

The officials suggested one of the main factors behind their concerns centered on a group within the military wing of Islamic Jihad. They felt that these activists apparently want to mark the anniversary of the death of Islamic Jihad leader, Baha Abu al-Ata – who was killed by Israel in a targeted assassination last November 12 with a retaliatory attack. The killing of Abu al-Ata, which the army called “Operation Black Belt,” sparked two days of clashes with Islamic Jihad, during which time the militants fired 500 rockets at Gaza border communities.