Over the weekend, the Israel Defense Forces went on the defensive. Sources say the IDF’s Iron Dome system was deployed after several rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip. Additionally, the pair of anti-rocket batteries were activated over fears of more assaults from an ISIS-sponsored terror group, this according to a JPost update.
The sophisticated Iron Dome anti-missile defense system was deployed in Netivot and Sderot near the southern port city of Ashdod. Typically, the all-weather mobile system is placed in action in response to credible threats or after confirmed attacks on the Israeli motherland.
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) September 18, 2015
Days ago, a Gazan rocket allegedly landed in Sderot and damaged a private residence and a bus. On Friday night, an Iron Dome battery launched a missile that fended off a Gazan rocket believed to be targeting the Ashkelon region. Additionally, the Israeli Air Force retaliated and successfully hit three terrorist targets — one that included a communications system by Hamas.
BREAKING: IDF deployed an Iron Dome battery to Sderot and Netivot following recent rocket fire from #Gaza. pic.twitter.com/UqYkBC4BMM
— Israel News Flash (@ILNewsFlash) September 20, 2015
A Salafist organization, Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigades, took responsibility for the recent string of attacks that led to the Iron Dome system being deployed. Defense Ministers anticipated an outbreak of violence, as the head of the terror organization in Hamas called for a “Day of Rage,” wrote the Jewish Press.
Reportedly, the group’s aim is to stir up the tension between Israel and Hamas. In doing so, it plans to siphons power away from Gaza leadership, which allows the ISIS-affiliated group to occupy the weakened power structure. Some pundits on foreign affairs believe this strategy channels ISIL’s blueprint in Iraq and Syria.
The deployment of the Iron Dome system comes on the heels of arrests by Hamas aimed at enforcing the truce agreed to a year ago between opposing factions.
In the wake of the violence and threats of same on the Friday’s planned violence, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed his pledge to protect Christian and Islamic interests at Jewish sites. He recently spoke with a group of activists.
“Al-Aqsa is ours and the Holy Sepulcher is also ours. They have no right to dirty the mosque with their filthy feet, we won’t let them do it. We will do whatever we can to defend Jerusalem.”
[Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images]