Israel deploys rocket defence system
TEL AVIV: Israel’s military says it deployed a rocket defence system to the center of the country amid threats by groups in Gaza .
It said on Tuesday that an Iron Dome battery was deployed, without elaborating. The system defends against short-range rockets, and intercepted hundreds of projectiles ired by Palestinians during the 2014 Gaza war.
The move follows a warning by Israel’s prime minister and military to Gazans against attacks.
Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed group in Gaza, has vowed revenge for the demolition of one of its attack tunnels last month that crossed into Israel.
It was a rare lare-up along the tense border, which has remained mostly quiet since the 2014 Israel-hamas war.
During the ighting, Gaza gunmen on several occasions iniltrated Israel through a tunnel network. Israel’s army said on Monday that it had arrested a senior Islamic Jihad member as tensions with the group rose after the army blew up one of its tunnels from Gaza.
The army arrested the “senior operative” overnight in Arraba near Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, Israel’s military said.
A source with Islamic Jihad conirmed that one of its leaders, Tareq Qadaan, was detained as part of an “arrest campaign.”
There were no immediate details on whether others were arrested.
Later on Monday, Israeli media said the army had raised its level of alert adjacent to the border with Gaza as a precaution against possible Islamic Jihad retaliation for the tunnel blast.
Separately, Israeli authorities said on Monday that they would bar entry to the country of a group of French politicians seeking to visit jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti.
The decision was part of controversial efforts by Israel’s government to bar supporters of a boycott of the country over its occupation of Palestinian territory.
Israel’s interior and public security ministries in a joint statement suggested that the delegation “not ly at all.”
Politicians from France’s Communist party and from the hard-left France Unbowed party, including four parliament members, said they planned to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories from Nov.18-nov.23.
The delegation hoped to meet Barghouti, a prominent Palestinian leader and prisoner who is serving ive life sentences for murder over his role in the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, of 2000 to 2005.