Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Thursday that Israel would not hesitate to take action against terrorists who threaten civilians, as the IDF bolstered its troop deployment along the Gaza border.
Speaking after a briefing by security officials on the tension in the south, Lapid said Israel will continue to operate against terror suspects.
"We fully understand the difficulty of residents along the border," Lapid said. "We will not allow their lives to be disrupted for long, but our first concern is for their safety. "
The IDF has imposed travel restrictions on the border area for a third straight day, after intelligence information suggested the Islamic Jihad faction in Gaza, was planning to launch attacks against Israelis, in retaliation for the arrest earlier in the week, of a senior member of the group in Jenin.
Bassam al Saadi was arrested by the IDF in the Jenin refugee camp. He was suspected of arranging funds and weapons to enlist Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israelis.
Al Saadi was said to have payed $300 for a successful terror attack and $100 for strikes that were not successful.
In a video message to local residents, Brig. General Nimrod Aloni, the commander of the Gaza division said the military observed preparations made by the Islamic Jihad to launch attacks across the border, to target civilians and troops.
"Road closures will remain in place as long as is needed as the security of civilians is of primary concern," he said.
"The forces are on high alert and along with our defensive measures, the military is deploying more troops to the area, in case of an armed conflict," he said.
In addition to calling up reserves, the IDF has also suspended leave in some of the combat units, which may be sent to the South.
According to a report in the Palestinian al Quds news paper in Jerusalem, the Islamist faction told an Egyptian delegation in Gaza, there to bring about an end to the security crisis, that they demand to see proof that al Saadi was unharmed by his Israeli captors as well as a resolution of the 144 day hunger strike of another member of the Islamic Jihad held in prison in Israel.
The terror group told the visiting Egyptians that they were not interested in a violent conflict but reserved the right to respond to the "the crimes perpetrated by the enemy occupiers," the paper reported.