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IDF calls up reserves in preparation for possible large-scale military op

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi orders the reinforcement amid an explosion of terror emanating from Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria.

IDF Artillery Corps seen firing into Gaza near the Israeli border on May 20, 2021. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
IDF Artillery Corps seen firing into Gaza near the Israeli border on May 20, 2021. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi on Friday ordered the call-up of reserve troops amid an explosion of terror emanating from Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria.

Halevi said the military would enhance its readiness to conduct aerial-related operations, after a barrage of rockets was fired over the past 24 hours from southern Lebanon and Gaza, and following a deadly Palestinian shooting attack in the Jordan Valley.

The Hamas terrorist group on Thursday afternoon fired 34 rockets from southern Lebanon towards northern Israel, in the biggest attack emanating from the Hezbollah-controlled country since the 2006 war.

According to the IDF, at least five of the projectiles struck within Israel. Another 25 were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, and the remaining four were still being investigated.

Overnight Thursday, terrorists in Hamas-ruled Gaza launched 44 projectiles, including rockets and anti-aircraft missiles, towards southern Israel, setting off sirens in Sderot, Nir Am, Mefalsim, Gavim, Nachal Oz, Alumim and Ibim.

One rocket struck a populated area in Sderot and eight were intercepted by Iron Dome. Fourteen rockets hit open areas inside Israel, nine fell short in Gaza and a dozen were fired in the direction of the Mediterranean Sea, said the military.

The rocket that hit Sderot damaged a home but caused no injuries.

In response, Israel Air Force jets hit more than 10 Hamas targets in the Palestinian enclave, including weapons manufacturing sites and attack tunnels. The military also struck Hamas assets in southern Lebanon.

“The state of Lebanon is considered responsible for everything that happens in its territory, including the firing of rockets by Hamas. We will not allow Hamas to operate from Lebanon,” said IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari on Friday morning.

“The IDF is prepared to carry out its missions—the offensive activity tonight in more than one arena is a clear indication of this. Israeli residents in the north and south constitute a strong civilian home front. We are entrusted with protecting them and their resilience allows us to continue to fulfill our duties,” he added.

On Friday, two Israeli sisters were killed and their mother was critically wounded in a Palestinian shooting attack in the Jordan Valley.

The attack took place on the Route 57 highway near the Hamra Junction, the IDF said.

According to an initial probe, terrorists opened fire on a passing vehicle, causing it to crash into the road’s shoulder. The terrorists then approached the car and riddled it with nearly two dozen bullets.

Magen David Adom emergency medical personnel pronounced two sisters in their 20s dead on the scene. The other victim, a woman in her 40s, was evacuated by helicopter to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.

Israeli troops launched a manhunt for the terrorists.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was slated to hold a security assessment Friday afternoon.

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