Israel National News reports that the Islamist group that fired rockets at southern Israel Wednesday night said it would continue its “way of Jihad” and “attack the Jews” whether or not Hamas approved.
The rockets aimed at the city of Ashkelon and town of Netivot were the second such attacks in the past week, breaking a hiatus in cross-border fire since a 50-day Israeli war with Hamas ended with an Egyptian-brokered truce in August.
The “Sheikh Amar Hadid Brigades,” which also took responsibility for the firing of a rocket at the port city of Ashdod last week, the deepest strike at Israel since the 2014 war, said that the rockets were fired in revenge for “the death of an Islamic State member in Gaza by Hamas members." Their statement also noted:
We have repeated that we will continue in the way of Jihad against the Jews, the enemies of Allah. No one will stop us from fulfilling our obligation and attacking the Jews.
The group has since presented Hamas with an ultimatum demanding that it be allowed to attack Israel from Gaza and on Thursday said it would conduct another attack on the Jewish state within 12 hours.
Earlier this week the Army of the Islamic State, a group operating in Gaza and claiming to be associated with ISIS, said it killed a top Hamas commander because he was “a partner in a declared war against religion and against Muslims, working for the heretical government in Gaza.”
ISIS warned Hamas to immediately “end its war against religion in Gaza” or “face the consequences.” The group also sent out warnings on social media to Gaza residents to stay away from Hamas offices and buildings or possibly be swept up in the attacks.
Today Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that the IDF would continue attacking all terror threats against Israel, inside Gaza or out of it:
Even if the groups that fired rockets at Israel Wednesday night were gangs of disaffected Jihadists seeking to challenge Hamas by attacking us, we see Hamas as responsible for these attacks. We will not tolerate attacks on our civilians.
Reuters reported that Israel then retaliated with predawn bombing raids against three militant training camps said to belong to Hamas and the smaller Palestinian group Islamic Jihad. The raids caused some damage but no casualties.