Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Office
Commander of the Gaza Division, Brig. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs (center)

Israeli security and military personnel are adding forces in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem as well as along the borders in both northern and southern Israel.

Additional infantry battalions were sent to the force in the south of Israel, where new violence is expected Friday at the security fence along the Gaza border, and two additional battalions were deployed to Judea and Samaria as well.

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Forces in Jerusalem will especially be focused around the Old City of Jerusalem, where radical Islamist clerics are expected to whip up the masses in sermons during Friday prayers at the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.

The Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization that rules Gaza warned Thursday that it would make every effort to encourage more violence, and would use the Al Aqsa mosque as the springboard from which to launch the hoped-for river of blood.

“We call on our people to carry out additional heroic actions in order to stop the aggression of the occupation,” urged Hamas Political Bureau member Hussam Badran in a public announcement Thursday night following the vicious stabbing attack on the Israeli community of Adam, north of Jerusalem. “Tomorrow a popular uprising will break out in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and all parts of Palestine,” Badran claimed.

Following Thursday’s events and the threats by Hamas, IDF brass decided to cancel most of the furloughs that soldiers had requested for this coming weekend. The decision means a relatively large number of soldiers are deployed along the Gaza border in order to defend against any threats by Hamas and allied terror organizations.

Israel Air Force squadrons were also placed on alert in preparation for the weekend ahead, as were IDF artillery units.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told an interviewer on the Kan public radio network Thursday that war is a distinct possibility.

“It appears that we are getting close to a wider operation with Hamas – a situation where the IDF will need to embark on a wide-scale operation,” Erdan said. “It is clear that after four years of quiet since Operation Protective Edge, residents are back in an unacceptable situation. There are rocket sirens at night and children in shelters,” he said.

If current military measures continue to prove ineffective, he added, then “We will have to return to a broad military operation that will exact a price, at least as much as Operation Protective Edge, if not more than that,” Erdan added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told new IDF and Border Guard Police recruits on Thursday that in some respects, a protracted conflict has already begun.

“We’re managing difficult fronts in the north and in the south,” he said in remarks to the inductees.

“In the end, the burden of defending the country’s borders, and the country, falls on you. We trust you, we believe in you.

“You’re going to go through hard but important training that will give you the tools both to defend yourselves and to defend the country.

“That’s my wish for you, that you succeed in defending the country, and that you take care of yourselves,” he said.

In response to a question by one of the new recruits about the current status of the Gaza border, Netanyahu said, “We’re in a campaign. It involves exchanging blows. In the end, it’s a test of will.

“We’re taking every opportunity [to restore calm] but we’re very, very determined to defend our borders. And we will do what it takes to protect not only the towns of the Gaza periphery, but the whole of the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu, who served during his tour of duty in the elite Sayeret Matkal special ops unit, told another recruit that the secret to survival under difficult circumstances is in one’s state of mind.
“Always tell yourselves, ‘I won’t be broken, we won’t be broken; we will break them.'” he advised. “Remember, ‘We won’t be broken.'”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.