Israel deploys Iron Dome batteries throughout country amid Eurovision threats


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israel Defense Forces deployed Iron Dome missile defense system batteries throughout the country as Palestinian terror groups in Gaza warned that they would “ruin Eurovision” with their attacks.

The Iron Dome batteries were deployed on Tuesday, a day after a rocket was fired at Israel from Gaza but landed in the Mediterranean Sea.

The extra security measure comes at the start of several weeks of extra activity and tension due to Israel’s Memorial Day and Independence Day, the Eurovision international song contest, the first anniversary of the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Also Tuesday, Palestinians in Gaza launched several arson balloons, balloons carrying incendiary devices, at southern Israel, igniting a fire outside of Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

On Wednesday, the Lebanese Al Akhbar newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources, that Palestinian terror groups in Gaza have warned that if Israel does not ease restrictions on Gaza — part of an unofficial cease-fire agreement brokered by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations — that “the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip will experience further arson, and in the near future the pressure from the Gaza Strip will increase so much so as to ruin the Eurovision Song Contest,” The Times of Israel reported.

Eurovision is scheduled to be held May 14-18 in Tel Aviv.

The sources threatened that there could be other “mistaken” rocket fire on Tel Aviv referring to previous rocket attacks that were claimed to have been fired in error. One on March 14 in Tel Aviv caused no damage or injuries. Another on March 25 on the central Israeli community of Mishmeret scored a direct hit on a house and injured seven people.

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