Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant requested on Wednesday Cabinet approval to extend the emergency declaration in force for communities situated within 40 km. (25 miles) of Gaza to all those located within 80 km. of the terrorist enclave.
The extension of the status would enable the IDF to determine safety guidelines for the civilian population, prevent large gatherings and close relevant sites in parts of central Israel, including Tel Aviv.
The move comes after Palestinian terrorists in Gaza unleashed barrages of rockets at Israel, breaking a day-long calm following the IDF’s targeted killing of three top Palestinian Islamic Jihad members on Tuesday.
Warning sirens sounded across communities near the Gaza border, as well as in Ashkelon, Ashdod and the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
Terrorists fired some 300 projectiles in several salvos, according to the military.
In response, Israel Air Force jets struck PIJ rocket infrastructure across the Strip. The military said that upwards of 40 Palestinian terror assets were hit.
The IDF Home Front Command instructed civilians within 40 km. of Gaza to stay near protected areas. Residents of areas adjacent to the Palestinian enclave were ordered to remain in bomb shelters until further notice.
Gallant on Tuesday hailed the killing of the three PIJ leaders and warned of a possible protracted campaign.
“Overnight, the IDF and ISA [Shin Bet] conducted a precise operation against the leadership of the Islamic Jihad terror organization in Gaza. The State of Israel seeks stability in the region, while the Iranian-funded terror group launches attacks. At the same time, it harms its own people—the Palestinian residents of Gaza,” he said.
“The State of Israel will not tolerate rocket fire, terrorism or any threats to the sovereignty of our state and security of our citizens. We must be prepared for every scenario—the IDF and security forces are prepared to defend every front,” Gallant said.
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