Military deploys anti-rocket batteries in central Israel

Li Jiayao

JERUSALEM, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Israel's army has deployed anti-rocket Iron Dome batteries in central Israel, a military spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

The Hebrew-language Ynet said the move was part of "heightened alert" following threats by the Islamic Jihad, a Gaza-based militant group, that vowed to avenge the killing of at least 12 militants when Israel blew up a cross-border tunnel on October 31.

Israel said that the tunnel, which ran from the besieged Palestinian enclave into Israeli territory, was a "terror tunnel" aimed to attack Israelis.

Earlier on Monday, the Israeli military elevated the level of preparedness near the separation fence between Israel and Gaza.

Over the past days, the military and senior Israeli officials sent stern warnings to Hamas, an Islamic movement that runs Gaza, saying it will hold Hamas accountable for any attack from the Strip.

"For every Islamic Jihad response, wherever it is, Israel will respond with force and determination, not only to the Jihad but also to Hamas as well," Major General Yoav Mordechai, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, said in a statement in Arabic on Saturday.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to "take a very firm stance against anyone who tries to attack us or attacks us from any area."

The escalation comes at a sensitive time, as the rival Fatah and Hamas, an Islamist movement that runs Gaza, are working on the implementation of a reconciliation historic deal.

Israel objects the deal.


Related News