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Israel arrests top Islamic Jihad militant as tensions rise

AFP  |  Jerusalem 

Israel's army said today it had arrested a senior Islamic Jihad militant as tensions with the group rose after the army blew up one of its tunnels from

The army arrested overnight the "senior operative" in Arraba near Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, Israel's military said.

A source with Islamic Jihad confirmed that one of its leaders, Tareq Qadaan, was detained as part of an "arrest campaign".

There were no immediate details on whether others were arrested.

Tensions have risen between and Islamic Jihad after the army blew up a tunnel that stretched from the Strip into Israeli territory on October 30.

Such tunnels have been used in the past to carry out attacks.

The operation resulted in the deaths of at least 12 Palestinian militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israeli Prime Minister yesterday warned Palestinian militants in against carrying out attacks in revenge for the operation.

Islamic Jihad meanwhile threatened to hit back at over the destruction of the tunnel it says it dug.

The heated rhetoric comes at a sensitive time for the Palestinians, who are seeking to follow through on a landmark reconciliation deal between rivals Fatah and Hamas, the Islamist moved which runs Gaza.

The deal was signed last month and aims at ending a 10- year split between Fatah and Hamas.

and militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008.

The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, expressed concern, saying "the reckless actions and statements of militants in Gaza risk a dangerous escalation".

Hamas is allied with Islamic Jihad, which maintains a strong presence in the Gaza Strip. It is also present in the West

Hamas's statements following the tunnel operation have been less forceful as it seeks to follow through on the Palestinian reconciliation accord.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, November 13 2017. 16:02 IST