Military censors have released for publication the information that IDF engineers have deployed Iron Dome anti-missile defense batteries in the Dan region around metro Tel Aviv and its suburbs in case of a possible missile attack by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group.
Iron Dome batteries were also set up near Modi’in, according to a Jerusalem source, and a number of tourist events scheduled close to the Gaza border were canceled under orders from Home Front Command.
Israel is continuing to tighten defenses and has raised the alert level in preparation for a possible attack by PIJ which continues to threaten the Jewish State.
The group threatened Israel after its destruction of a terrorist tunnel discovered within its territory near Kibbutz Kissufim last month. When Israel warned that it would respond to such an attack with appropriate force, PIJ said the threat constituted a “declaration of war,” and reserved the right of “response.”
U.S. Special Representative to the region Jason Greenblatt warned the group that “extremist statements and provocation” against Israel would only harm Gaza, and was “very dangerous.”
Extremist statements & provocation vs. Israel by Islamic Jihad significantly harm the people of Gaza & are very dangerous. The PA must resume full responsibility in Gaza. US is working with the PA, Israel, Egypt & others to try to improve the situation. Gaza deserves better.
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) November 13, 2017
Iron Dome anti-missile batteries are designed to intercept short-range rockets and missiles, and in some cases mortar fire.
Top Israeli officials have repeatedly warned Hamas as well as Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders not to launch any retaliatory attacks in response to the destruction of the tunnel, which crossed under the border between Gaza and Israel.
Twelve operatives were killed in the detonation, including five who were trapped on the Israeli side of the border. Those bodies were retrieved by Israel. The government is refusing to return them until the bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers and the other live hostages being held in Gaza by Hamas are returned. Hamas refused a deal to exchange the terrorists’ bodies for the Israeli hostages, dead and alive.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday, “We will take a very strong hand against anyone who tries to attack us, or attacks us from any theater.”
IDF Major-General Yoav Mordechai, head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) also issued a warning. Speaking in Arabic, Mordechai publicly address PIJ leaders Ramadan Shalah and his deputy, Ziyad Nakhalah in Damascus via a YouTube video, saying they would be held responsible if Israel was attacked by the group. He added there would be a “forceful and determined” response both against Palestinian Islamic Jihad and against Hamas.