Israeli aircraft retaliated against rocket strikes by bombing several sites in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, after a Palestinian group linked to Islamic State claimed responsibility for attacks the previous day.
Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the strikes against a radical jihadi-Salafist group, called the Omar Hadid Brigades, whose operatives were also targeted by Gaza rulers Hamas.
Analysts say that the emergence of Islamic State as a serious player has led to a new power struggle within the Gaza Strip, and that the Omar Brigades’ leaders hope to entice Israel into a new conflict to further weaken Hamas.
The Israeli response to the weekend assault included closing the border crossings, as officials in Jerusalem said Hamas bore ultimate responsibility.
Meanwhile, it emerged this week that Turkey has ordered the commander of Hamas’ West Bank commander to cut back on his activities. Saleh Aruri, who now lives in Turkey, was deported by Israel five years ago.
Elsewhere, Israeli border police shot and killed a 23-year old Palestinian man in a refugee camp in Jenin, in the West Bank. A spokesman said the dead man had been trying to throw an explosive device at the Israeli unit.