PA warns against escalation, Hamas threatens

PA calls on international community to intervene to prevent further escalation in Gaza. Hamas: We will defend our people.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday warned against the escalation in the Gaza Strip and called upon the international community to intervene in order to prevent further escalation.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas “has begun to hold talks with elements in the region and in the world to contain the escalating crisis," the statement said, according to Yediot Aharonot.

Hamas, meanwhile, warned that it will continue to defend the interests of the Palestinian Arab people.

"We have the right to defend ourselves. (Our) national duty is to defend our people's interests, and establish the deterrence equation according to which bombardment will be met with bombardment," said the terrorist group, which controls Gaza.

IAF jets on Friday evening struck 40 military targets belonging to Hamas in northern and southern Gaza, after a serious incident near the border in which an IDF soldier was killed by terrorist snipers.

In the wake of the escalation, the UN’s Middle East envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, urged calm and wrote, “Everyone in Gaza needs to step back from the brink. Not next week. Not tomorrow. Right NOW! Those who want to provoke Palestinians and Israelis into another war must not succeed.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman spoke to Mladenov later on Friday and told him, "We will respond harshly and all the responsibility from now on is on the Hamas leadership.”

“If Hamas continues with the rocket attacks, the result will be much more difficult than they think. The responsibility for all the destruction and human life will be on Hamas," Liberman added.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)