Iron Dome missile defense battery in southern Israel

Israel enters third day of high alert along Gaza border

IDF says intelligence indicates imminent Islamic Jihad attack in retaliation for al-Saadi's arrest; Air Force deploys dozens of drones to hunt down terror group's anti-tank and rocket squads

Yoav Zitun, Matan Tzuri |
Published: 08.04.22, 09:44
The IDF said Thursday morning that it had received intelligence about an imminent Islamic Jihad attack along the Gaza Strip border.
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  • The military braces for anti-tank missiles, snipers and mortar fire.
    3 View gallery
    כיפת ברזל בדרום
    כיפת ברזל בדרום
    Iron Dome missile defense battery in southern Israel
    (Photo: AFP)
    Some roads along the border will remain closed for the third day running.
    The Israeli Air Force increased its activity over Gaza, deploying dozens of drones to hunt down Islamic Jihad anti-tank and rocket squads.
    IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi took a tour of the southern border Thursday morning to approve offensive plans in Gaza in preparation for potential escalation.
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    אביב כוכבי
    אביב כוכבי
    IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi
    (Photo: Yariv Katz)
    Cross-border tensions have been simmering since Israeli forces arrest Basam al-Saadi, Islamic Jihad's ultimate authority in the West Bank.
    Meanwhile, Egypt continues to try to restrain Islamic Jihad. Israel also turned to the Qataris in a bid to lower the flames since Gaza's second-largest faction will not carry out a major attack against Israel without the approval of Gaza rulers Hamas, close allies of the Qataris.
    Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds reported Wednesday that Islamic Jihad presented Egyptian mediators with several conditions for de-escalation. First, a signal to al-Saadi's family that he is in good health, cessation of Israeli military activity in the West Bank, and an agreement to "end the suffering" of Khalil al-Awawdeh, a member of the terrorist group who has been on a hunger strike for 145 days in Israeli prison.
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    באסם א-סעדי ג'יהאד אסלאמי
    באסם א-סעדי ג'יהאד אסלאמי
    Basam al-Saadi after his arrest
    According to the report, Israel has yet to respond to these demands, but it is believed Jerusalem is averse to some, such as cessation of military activity in the West Bank.
    The newspaper reported that talks between the terror outfit's representatives and mediators are still ongoing, and while Islamic Jihad made it clear that they were not interested in escalation, they have a right to "respond to the crimes of the occupation."
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