Amid the escalated tensions along Israel’s border with Gaza, senior defense officials are debating whether the IDF should start targeting senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza. The IDF believes that Hamas is no longer capable of containing the PIJ.

PIJ terrorists

PIJ terrorists Photo Credit: Wissam Nassar/Flash 90

Since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, dozens of rockets and mortar shells have been fired from Gaza at Israel. Some of the projectiles landed in southern Israel while others were either intercepted by Iron Dome batteries or fell in Gaza.

In response to the attacks, the IDF targeted Hamas terror positions. However, Israel News Company reported on Wednesday that the Israeli security establishment has concluded that it is highly probable that Friday’s mortar shell attack was carried out the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, not Hamas.

The IDF suspects that Hamas is no longer capable of restraining the PIJ and thus high-ranking Israeli defense officials are debating whether the Israeli military should start targeting PIJ positions and the group’s leaders.

On Saturday, a day after three mortar shells were fired from Gaza, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel News Company that Iran is supplying the Gaza-based terror groups with mortar shells and rockets.

“You need to understand, three mortar shells were fired, and this is very serious,” he said, adding that the equipment was smuggled into Gaza via the Sinai Peninsula. “Hamas is deterred…the problem is that Hamas is losing its deterrence against the extreme Salafi elements that are backed by Iran. They are receiving money, support and ideology from global jihadist figures and Iran.”