High alert in Israel's south; IDF and Egypt deploy reinforcements
Security services believe Islamic Jihad planning another terror attack from south Gaza or Sinai; Egyptian army deploys 1,500 additional troops.
IDF chief Benny Gantz ordered the deployment of reinforcements around both the southern Gaza Strip and the Egyptian border on Sunday night, due to intelligence reports suggesting an imminent attack by the Islamic Jihad. The reinforcements were coordinated with the Egyptian army.
Although security sources estimate that the Islamic Jihad is planning the possible attack, a security official made clear that the IDF will hold Hamas responsible for any terrorist attack originating from the Gaza Strip.
According to estimates, members of the Islamic Jihad are currently in Sinai, and despite the recent ceasefire are interested in carrying out a new attack. Security official say that the array of tunnels along the border allowed members of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) to cross from Gaza to Sinai and carry out the attacks in Eilat a week and a half ago.
On Sunday, the independent newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported that Egypt is considering setting up a buffer zone on its border with the Gaza Strip following the recent bloodshed. The plan includes removing smuggling tunnels running across the 14-kilometer-long border with Gaza.
The UK-based newspaper Al-Hayat reported Monday that Egypt has deployed 1,500 troops in the Sinai peninsula, a move that was coordinated with Israeli security forces.