In what amounted to an admission that the city of Tel Aviv was vulnerable to attack by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the IDF revealed on Tuesday that it has deployed an Iron Dome missile defense battery in the Dan region — otherwise known as Tel Aviv and the surrounding suburbs.
The move was in response to threats of retaliation from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad since the army blew up a cross-border Gaza tunnel killing 14 terrorists last month. The terror group is known to have Katyusha rockets, which could reach the densely populated area.
The IDF has taken other precautions as well, including closure of several tourist attractions near the Gaza border, including the Black Arrow, Givat Hapaamon and Nizmit sites; and local farmers have been warned away from the vicinity of the Gaza security fence, due to fears of sniper fire or kidnapping attempts.
The military confirmed on Monday the anti-missile systems were installed in “central Israel,” but would not specify their location. Tuesday the Dan region was named as the location of at least one of the batteries.
Israel has been issuing warnings to PIJ that any attack will be met with a harsh response.
According to Amos Yadlin, head of the Institute for National Security Studies think tank, “the messages and warnings that Israel has been sending to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) over the last couple of days are not incidental, but actually indicate concrete intel according to which PIJ plans to respond to the destruction of his terror tunnel into Israel,” Yadlin wrote on Twitter.
“It seems Israel learned the lessons of Operation Protective Edge, and this time it will focus on hitting the heads of the organizations (with a particular focus on the chiefs of their military/terror branches) and their operational infrastructure,” he said.