IDF Deploys Iron Dome, Bracing for Tense Weeks

iron dome
An Iron Dome anti-missile battery. (Koko/Flash90)

Anticipating a period of tension in the days and weeks ahead, the IDF set up Iron Dome missile defense batteries in a number of places around the country.

A series of upcoming events contain the potential for further violence: the start of the Muslim month of Ramadan, Israel’s Memorial and Independence Days, and the first anniversary of the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Yerushalayim.

The news came after a rocket was launched at Israel from Gaza the night before. The projectile, which landed somewhere off the coast, was blamed on the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The IDF took no retaliatory action; but Israel curtailed the permitted Gaza fishing zone from 15 nautical miles to six until further notice. Apparently in response, Palestinians in Gaza launched several balloon-borne incendiary devices into southern Israel, which caused at least one fire, near Kibbutz Nahal Oz. It was quickly put out.

Attributing Monday night’s rocket fire specifically to PIJ commander Baha Abu al-Ata, rather than the usual statement holding Hamas responsible for whatever attacks emanate from Gaza, the IDF was thought to be sending a message to PIJ. The military said the rocket was fired from the al-Attra neighborhood of Beit Lahiya, a PIJ stronghold, further evidence that the IDF might strike there next time.

Islamic Jihad’s aim is to create incidents that will disrupt ceasefire negotiations, an IDF source was quoted as saying by the Times of Israel.