The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Friday it had expanded its infantry and artillery deployment in the south and north of the country to prepare for possible escalation amid continuing rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.
Based on situation assessment, we have made a decision to expand our regular infantry and artillery forces the Southern Command and the Northern Command to strengthen the defense for all possible scenarios.
Israeli media reported, citing Hagari, that 44 rockets had been fired overnight from the Gaza Strip in the direction of southern Israel.
Nine of them failed to reach the border of the Palestinian territory, 12 fell into the sea, 14 landed in fields, one hit an apartment building in the city of Sderot, and only eight were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.
The Israeli army hit more than ten Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, using about 50 tonnes of ammunition. On Thursday, Israeli media reported that dozens of missiles had been fired from Lebanon, targeting border towns and cities located in the northern and western Galilee region.
The Israeli military said that 34 missiles had been fired from Lebanon, 23 of them intercepted by the air defense systems.
It blamed the attack on the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered command control to prepare for any potential response.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the same day that the perpetrators would pay for every act of aggression, adding that no internal political debate would interfere with that.
The European Union condemns recent escalation of violence in the Middle East and calls on Israel, Palestine and Lebanon to exercise restraint and avoid deterioration of the situation, as well as promote calm during ongoing religious holidays.
On Wednesday, Israeli security forces stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, one of the holiest Muslim sites, arresting hundreds of worshipers.
The raid drew protests from the Arab world. On Friday, at least one person was killed and seven others were injured after a car had rammed into pedestrians on the Tel Aviv promenade.
The statement read that the surge in violence occurred following the days of tension and clashes at the Holy Sites, including the intervention and the use of force by Israeli police inside the compound of the Al Aqsa mosque.
The violence comes amid the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, which coincided this year with the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Israeli military chief Hertzi Halevi said on Friday that Israel would continue to use force as much as necessary, against any enemy and in any arena, both during the holidays and during times of internal public debate.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.