The Israeli army has deployed anti-rocket batteries of its "Iron Dome" air defense system at key points in the country to guard against retaliation by the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, Israeli media reported late Monday.
Islamic Jihad rejected Mordechai's message, saying "the enemy's threat to target the leaders of the movement" was "a declaration of war".
"We reaffirm our right to respond to any aggression, including our right to respond to the crime of aggression on the resistance tunnel", the terror group's statement said. Referring to the Israeli operation on October 30, he said that Israel "destroyed a terror tunnel in Israeli sovereign territory". He has previously served time in Israeli prisons for terror offenses.
The bodies of five terrorists who were working on the tunnel inside Israeli territory were recovered by the IDF, the army said.
"We are aware of the plot that the Islamic Jihad group is planning against Israel", said Mordechai, whose defence ministry unit is known as COGAT. A total of 14 terrorists were killed in the aftermath of the tunnel collapse, including two senior Islamic Jihad field commanders.
Islamic Jihad maintains a strong presence in the Gaza Strip and is also present in the West Bank.
Similarly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Gaza-based Palestinian terror groups not to attack Israel.
"These days, there are still those who toy with trying renewed attacks on Israel", Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
A source with the Islamic Jihad confirmed one of its leaders Tareq Qadan was detained as part of an "arrest campaign". "We will react forcefully to whoever tries to attack us or attacks us from any arena".
If it holds, the deal will allow the Fatah-led Palestinian government in Ramallah to assume political and administrative responsibility for the Gaza Strip.