The armed wing of the Palestinian terrorist group that rules Gaza issued a statement in light of the recent series of events in northern Israel and Syria, saying that it has “raised the level of alert to protect our people and respond to any Zionist aggression.”
Watch: Israeli F-16 jet crashes in northern Israel
Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, announced on Saturday evening that it is prepared to respond to “any Zionist aggression” in light of the escalated tensions between Israel and Syria. The spokesperson for the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades to Twitter to relay the message, according to Hamas’s English website.
“The Brigades have raised the level of alert to protect our people and respond to any Zionist aggression in the light of the ongoing events taking place in northern occupied Palestine,” spokesperson Abu-Obeida reportedly wrote.
Hamas terrorists in Gaza Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90
The tensions along Israel’s northern border with Syria rapidly increased Saturday morning after an Iranian drone that entered Israel’s airspace was shot down by the Israeli Air Force. In response, Israeli fighter jets targeted the control vehicle from which the drone was operated in the Syrian T-4 Airbase near Palmyra.
For a long time Iran and the Quds Force have been operating, with the backing of Syrian forces and the approval of the Syrian regime, from the Syrian T-4 Airbase near Tadmor. pic.twitter.com/U9H33vDF4O
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 10, 2018
The Israeli fighter jets were targeted by Syrian air defense forces, which fired over 25 anti-aircraft missiles at them. One of the fighter jets, an F-16I, was hit by the Syrian fire. The pilots ejected from the aircraft and parachuted down into Israeli territory. The fighter jet crashed and exploded near Kibbutz Harduf.
In response to the attack on the aircraft, the IAF launched a major strike on multiple Iranian and Syrian targets. Senior IAF commander Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein Dar stated that this was “the biggest and most significant attack the air force has carried out against Syrian air defenses since 1982.”