by Vijeta Uniyal at legalinsurrection.com
IDF: “Islamic Jihad and its leaders have been threatening the security of Israelis for too long.”
Nearly a day after Islamic terrorist group Hamas threatened Israel ahead of Thursday’s patriotic Jerusalem Day march, the Israeli military launched a large-scale counterterrorism operation, eliminating three Gaza-based commanders and several fighters of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a terrorist group closely allied to Hamas.
In recent months, PIJ — under Hamas’s protection — has been using its bases in Gaza to fire rockets into southern Israel. Both PIJ and Hamas receive weapons, training, and funding from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The annual Jerusalem Day March celebrates Israel’s taking control of the Old City and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. The patriotic event draws tens of thousands of Israelis to the Holy City. Last year, close to 50,000 Jews and Israelis took part in the rally; marching joyfully, raising patriotic chants, and brightening up the streets of Jerusalem with the blue and white of the Israeli flags.
In 2016, William A. Jacobson witnessed Jerusalem Day and noted in his post how “[t]ens of thousands of people stream into the city for the march towards the Western Wall (Read the post here).
For those interested in the historic and cultural significance of Jerusalem Day, I would recommend Prof. Miriam Elman’s insightful 2015 post titled “Five Reasons to Celebrate Jerusalem Day.”
Each year, the sight of patriotic Israelis peacefully walking through their eternal capital irritates the mainstream media and enrages terrorist and Islamist organizations. The event is often accompanied by jihadist threats and violent riots by angry Palestinians.
Last year, Hamas threatened Israel with “war” if the marchers went ahead with the event. This year, those violent threats were renewed.
The Times of Israel reported Hamas’s threat against the rally:
Palestinian terror group Hamas warned on Sunday that it would not let Israel “Judaize” Jerusalem ahead of a controversial nationalist march through the Muslim Quarter of the capital’s Old City set for later this week.
Hamas spokesperson Abd al-Latif al-Qanou said in a statement that Jerusalem “will remain the Palestinian capital” and that the Gaza-based group “will not allow the Zionist occupation to implement plans to Judaize the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of Jerusalem through division…or flag parades.”
“The flag parade in Jerusalem will not change the reality, we will maintain the ‘equation’ as imposed by the resistance,” he said, in reference to Palestinian groups that have in the past responded to events in Jerusalem and on the flashpoint Temple Mount site with rockets from Gaza.