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IDF sends reinforcements to West Bank amid Jerusalem violence

CM 09/05/2021 3

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The IDF has sent an additional three battalions to the West Bank to reinforce four already in the area, following violence in Jerusalem and overall heightened tension in the area.The decision by Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi was made following a situational assessment held at the Salem base in the Menashe Regional Brigade and attended by the OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Tamir Yadai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Rassan Aliyan, Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Alaluf and head of the Civil Administration Brig.-Gen. Fares Atila.The additional forces have been deployed with the aim of strengthening troop readiness, with an emphasis on strengthening defenses in the Seam Zone. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi holds a situational assessment at the Salem base in the Menashe Regional Brigade, Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit) IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi holds a situational assessment at the Salem base in the Menashe Regional Brigade, Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)Israeli security forces on Friday increased their alert level and sent more than two and a half extra battalions to reinforce troops after two Palestinians were killed earlier in the day and a third was seriously wounded after they opened fire towards the Salem base in the northern West Bank.Yadai called it “a major attack” that was “prevented thanks to the sharp, determined and professional combat efforts of the Border Police officers.”The three gunmen, all armed with knives and improvised Palestinian-made Carlo submachine guns, opened fire on the gate of the Salem base before they were shot by Border Police officers. There were no casualties among the Israeli forces; the third Palestinian attacker was evacuated to HaEmek Medical Center in Afula.

During his visit to the base, Kohavi thanked the border police for thwarting an attack that “could have affected the situation in the entire country.”Though the IDF had already bolstered forces for Ramadan, concerned that violence might erupt, the deadly shooting attack and a rare statement threatening Israel by Hamas terror chief Mohamed Deif casused the military to prepare for a range of possible scenarios, both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.Over 200 Palestinians and 17 police officers were injured on Friday in the worst violence in years in Jerusalem where tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers gathered to mark the last Friday prayers of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.Saturday night and Sunday morning over 100 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem after more than 90,000 worshippers visited Al-Aqsa Mosque to mark Laylat al-Qadr which commemorates the night that Muslims believe the Koran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.Palestinian groups,– Fatah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – have all threatened Israel. According to the Lebanese Al-Akhbar daily, Hamas has rejected a message sent by Israel via Egyptian mediators which called on the terror group to prevent a further escalation of violence.Incendiary balloons launched from the coastal enclave have started dozens of fires in southern Israel. According to Palestinian media the “night confusion units” have resumed rioting along the security fence. One rocket has been launched falling in a field. The IAF retaliated by striking a Hamas post.
The IDF had been expecting more violence from Gaza on Saturday and believes that despite Hamas and Islamic Jihad threats, terror groups in the blockaded coastal enclave are more deterred than was thought. Source: Jerusalem Post

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