For Third Day, Gaza Area in Lockdown Fearing Attack


IDF soldiers block roads near the border with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. (Flash90)

The IDF has decided to maintain its state of high alert in the Gaza Strip area on Thursday, for the third day in a row, after threats of an attack by the Islamic Jihad terror group.

The high alert was announced on Tuesday morning after Israeli Special Forces arrested in Jenin Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi, the leader of the Islamic Jihad in the Shomron area, and after the terror organization threatened to retaliate.

The Islamic Jihad initially thought that al-Saadi has been wounded during the operation, therefore Israel’s security system leaked photos of him smiling and in good health while in custody.

However, after threatening an attack, it appears that the Islamic Jihad has obligated itself to strike against Israel.

Responding to the threats, the IDF shut down all the roads surrounding the Gaza Strip, stopped all train traffic in the area, banned farmers who have fields adjacent to the border from attending to their crops, shut down the Zikim beach and blocked access to high points in the area, and stopped the entry of workers from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

The IDF believes that the Islamic Jihad will try to retaliate to the arrest with sniper fire or anti-tank rockets.

It continued these restrictions on Thursday, with some communities under complete lockdown, without the ability to leave the community at all or enter it.

This is the highest state of alert the area has experienced since Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021.

Gaza’s sole power plant will have to shut down within 48 hours if the closure on access to Gaza is not lifted, officials warned, according to Reuters.

Israeli authorities have blocked the fuel trunks that supply the plant, over fears of retaliation attacks.

Already facing cuts that leave them with just 10 hours of electricity a day, Gaza residents would face further blackouts if the plant stopped operating, leaving the enclave’s only external source of power a daily feed of 120 megawatts that comes from Israel.

“That would have a grave impact on the daily life of over two million people and vital services,” said Mohammad Thabit, of Gaza’s power distribution company.

As well as stopping the transport of goods and aid into Gaza, the shutdown – which entered its third day on Thursday – has also prevented workers from crossing into Israel. Residents on the Israeli side have complained of restrictions on movement.

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