Heavy Army Presence on Gaza Border; Iron Dome Missile Defense System Activated

Several roads on Gaza border closed by Israeli security forces; rocket sirens sound in southern Israeli communities

Vehicles are seen on the Israel-Gaza border, October 10, 2018.
Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The Israeli military said it activated the Iron Dome missile defense system after misidentifying a rocket launch from the Gaza Strip. Rocket sirens sounded in the Israeli communities of Shaar Hanegev and Sdot Negev.

Meanwhile, several roads on the Gaza border were closed by Israeli security forces as heavy army presence was reported. The reasons for the closure of the roads have yet to be made public.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israel is working to ease conditions in the Gaza Strip in order to prevent an escalation in the south.

>> Israeli army believes surging Gaza violence doesn't justify wider conflict

"We are trying to bring about a solution that will restore quiet and security for the communities near the Gaza border," he said at a press conference in Jerusalem.

"We regularly act to prevent casualties… because of our actions, there is some caution, I would say, on the Palestinians side – and I think that they too understand that if a conflict erupts here the price they will pay will be very high," he said.

Earlier this week, Palestinians broke through the inner border fence and set fire to camouflage netting at an unmanned Israeli army sniper post. Video clips of the incident were posted on social media on Monday, eliciting an IDF spokesman’s response, even though the IDF had not reported it.

Prior to the incident, about 7,000 Gazans turned up near the Israeli border fence in the northern Gaza Strip near Kibbutz Zikim. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 29 Palestinians were wounded on Monday in clashes with the IDF, among them 11 by live fire.