Police block roads in southern Israel

Schools, roads and train lines closed in south over Gaza escalation

IDF limits public movement and gatherings after flare-up with Islamic Jihad in Strip also leads to attacks on terror group's assets in Syria; organization vows to avenge 'ugly crime' after two members killed in IAF attack south of Damascus

Ynet |
Published: 02.24.20 , 09:41
The Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command on Monday issued fresh guidelines for residents of southern Israel in light of ongoing rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and concerns over possible anti-tank fire.
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  • The army struck Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza and south of the Syrian capital Damascus late Sunday following the spate of rocket fire by the group. One of the rockets struck the yard of a house in the southern city of Sderot; there were no injuries in the attack.
    (The IDF strikes Islamic Jihad targets south of Damascus)

    Islamic Jihad said it was acting in response to an incident earlier in the day in which at least one of its militant was killed trying to lay a bomb at the Gaza border fence and his body removed by an IDF bulldozer.
    (The IDF recovers the body of an Islamic Jihad cell member killed laying a bomb along the Gaza border fence )

    Educational institutions were closed for the day in the cities of Ashkelon, Netivot and Sderot as well as in Hof Ashkelon, Eshkol, Sdot HaNegev and Sha'ar HaNegev regional councils.

    (A rocket fired from Gaza hits the yard of a house in Sderot (Video: Yarden Avital))

    Due to the IDF directive , 65,000 students were to remain at home and examinations were suspended at Sapir College, Ashkelon College and Hamdat HaDarom Academic College.
    The trains between Ashkelon and Be'er Sheva were suspended and the train stations in Sderot, Ofakim and Netivot were closed.
    Similarly, trains from Ra'anana to Be'er Sheva were to stop at Ashkelon Station and passengers to Be'er Sheva were instructed to use the eastern line passing through Lod, Kiryat Gat and Lehavim-Rahat.
    Roads were also closed in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip and the IDF has banned drivers from stopping their vehicles when using other routes.
    Route 4 was closed from Zikim Junction to the entrance to Nativ HaAsara; Route 34 was blocked from Yad Mordechai Junction to Ibim, and Road 232 from Mefalsim Junction to the Kfar Gaza junction. Zikim beach is also closed to visitors.
    The Population and Immigration Authority's offices in Netivot and Sderot will also remain closed, and the visits to the authority offices in Rahat and Ashkelon are by appointment only.
    The Home Front Command has also stated that mass events in the area can only take place in closed buildings and must be limited in numbers to 300 people.
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    Police block roads in southern Israel
    (Photo: Barel Efraim)
    People are also only allowed to go to work if the building has a protected space that can be reached in the allotted time.
    The rest of the country has no restrictions.
    The IDF struck a series of Islamic Jihad targets in Syria and across the Gaza Strip Sunday night in response to rocket attacks on southern communities.
    Two Islamic Jihad activists in their 20s were reported killed in the attack and the group vowed to "avenge this ugly crime."
    Among other things, a site was attacked in Syria to develop weapons, to produce rocket fuel and to train terrorist operatives. Gaza, among others, attacked storage and rocket sites.
    The IDF said that it would "respond strongly to the Islamic Jihad terrorist attacks that endanger Israel's citizens and violate its sovereignty.
    "The IDF takes a very grave view of rocket attacks against Israeli territory, is in a high state of readiness and will continue to act as needed against attempts to hurt Israeli civilians."

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