Jerusalem: Israel’s military has announced that it was sending more troops to the area near Gaza in case there were possible reprisal attacks following the arrest of a senior militant in the West Bank this week.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement on Thursday that after evaluating the situation in the region, it decided to add extra soldiers to its Gaza division to “improve the IDF’s readiness in the area”, Xinhua news agency reported.
The reinforcement includes artillery, infantry, armored and combat engineering units as well as special forces units, according to the IDF.
On Thursday morning, local authorities in Israel blocked roads and the Israeli army closed the Erez Crossing, the main passage between Israel and Gaza, for the third consecutive day.
The tensions were sparked by an Israeli raid in the flashpoint Palestinian city of Jenin in the northern West Bank overnight between Monday and Tuesday, during which a 17-year-old Palestinian boy was killed, and members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including the group’s senior figure Bassem al-Saadi, were arrested.
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