Following escalation with Gaza, Iron Dome battery deployed to protect Tel Aviv area


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli military deployed an Iron Dome anti-missile defense battery in the Tel Aviv area following a “situation assessment,” the Israel Defense Forces said.

Reserve soldiers were called up on Sunday to man the batteries, according to the IDF.

The moves came a day after more than 170 rockets and mortars were fired on Israel from Gaza. At least four Israelis were injured, including two teenage girls, when a rocket struck the roof of their home in Sderot; another rocket struck a synagogue in Sderot, which was empty at the time. Israel responded by striking 40 Hamas terror targets in Gaza.

Also on Sunday, the Israeli Air Force twice launched air strikes against terror squads launching incendiary balloons at southern Israel. Fires from such balloons and kites have burned thousands of acres of farmland and woodland in southern Israel in recent weeks.

“The IDF views the launching of arson balloons and kites with great severity and will continue to operate with increasing force against those who carry out this type of terror activity,” the IDF spokesman said in a statement.

Hamas announced late on Saturday night that it would observe a ceasefire with Israel following negotiations with Egypt and with international organizations. But several mortars struck Israel following the declaration, to which Israel responded.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting that although rumors were circulating that the cease fire did not include a halt to the arson balloons and kites, “this is incorrect. We are not prepared to accept any attacks against us and we will respond appropriately.”

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