Israelis living in communities near the Gaza border have been told the security restrictions in area will remain in place throughout Thursday over fears of attacks from the Palestinian enclave following an arrest of a known terrorist. Egypt, meanwhile, has been trying to mediate between Israel and Gaza in an effort to calm the tensions.
Security officials reviewing situation hourly, said they saw fit to leave restrictions in place in order to avoid Israelis being targeted by the Islamic Jihad after its chief in the West Bank was arrested in a high-profile security operation earlier in the week.
Egyptian officials were in Gaza in efforts to convince the Islamist faction to refrain from retaliating, after the group said they would avenge the detention of their member.
According to the military intelligence, the group would not launch a major attack without the approval of Hamas, which rules Gaza. Israel has also approached Qatar to ask for their intervention to dissuade the Islamic Jihad from their intent to attack.
“We hope the tension will die down soon," a senior official told Ynet. "Israeli are clear about that,” said an Israeli official. “Report from Gaza say they understand the situation and take it into account.” The IDF commented that “the road blocks prevented terrorist attacks.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz earlier toured the West Bank together with Chief of General Staff Major General Aviv Kochavi, and Chief of IDF Central Command General Yehudah Fox.
“Our policy is clear: those who wish to work and live as our neighbor will have our support. Those who wish to harm Israel and its people will not be tolerated,” Gantz said.
“The IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police will continue with their operations wherever needed. Every threat to Israel will meet a powerful response from us.”