IDF steps up security measures around Gaza

The Israeli army has taken further precautions around Gaza in anticipation of Islamic Jihad terror attack. 

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

The IDF has stepped up its level of alertness surrounding the Gaza Strip and has closed off large areas surrounding the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in anticipation of pending terror attack.

Several nature reserves in the area have been barred to hikers.

This step is the latest measure  the IDF has taken to prepare for a possible attack after it deployed Iron Dome defense systems across the country, including in the Tel Aviv area, and placed forces on high alert, in anticipation of a revenge attack threatened  by the Islamic Jihad Terror group.

An IDF official told the Israeli 0404 news site that the army has conveyed “a clear and sharp message to the terror organizations – we advise them not to mess with us because our response this time will be powerful and painful.”

“I have no doubt that the terror groups know that our response to any provocation will be harsh – very harsh,” the military official added.

The IDF estimates that the Islamic Jihad is planning an attack on the Jewish State following the IDF’s demolition of a Gaza terror tunnel some two weeks ago. 14 terrorists were killed in the aftermath of the tunnel collapse, including two senior Islamic Jihad field commanders.  The Palestinian terror group has vowed revenge.

In a message in Arabic published on Saturday, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) head Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai warned the Islamic Jihad to abandon plans to take revenge on Israel, saying that Israel knows of their plans and is prepared to repel them.

“It should be clear: Any retaliation of any kind by the Islamic Jihad will be met with a powerful and determined Israeli response, not only against the Jihad, but also against Hamas,” Mordechai warned.

The Islamic Jihad responded by saying that the IDF’s statement was a “declaration of war.”

“Threats to target the movement’s leadership is a declaration of war, which we will respond to,” the Islamic Jihad stated. “We reaffirm our right to respond to any attack, including our right to respond to the Israeli attack on the tunnel.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Gaza-based Palestinian terror groups not to attack Israel.  “There are those who still amuse themselves these days by trying to renew attacks against Israel,” Netanyahu remarked at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. “We will take a very firm stance against anyone who tries to attack us or attacks us from any area. I mean any source: rogue factions, organizations – anyone.”