Border police 370.
(photo credit: Yaakov Lappin)
The Israel Police was on high alert throughout the country on Friday
morning ahead of the Passover holiday. Large contingents of police,
Border Police and volunteers were set to patrol crowded areas with the aid of
The IDF also increased its force deployment in
preparation for the holiday, and imposed a closure on the West Bank
which will be removed on Hol Hamoed (the intermediate days of the holiday).
a large police force arrived in Eilat on Thursday for reinforcement,
following the firing of a Katyusha rocket at the city from the Sinai
Peninsula late Wednesday night.Israel threatened an aggressive
to the attack, although the IDF is expected to refrain from a
large-scale response to prevent an escalation of violence over Passover.
Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz warned that Israel had the ability
to reach every person involved in the recent spate of bombing plots
against Israeli targets overseas, Gantz said at a ceremony honoring
Turning to the rocket fire on Eilat, Gantz
said that Israel viewed the attack gravely and that it was the work of
terrorist organizations operating in the peninsula.
Head of Military Intelligence
Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi revealed on Thursday
that the IDF had thwarted 10
different terrorist plots to attack the country from Sinai in the past
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for new Military
Intelligence officers, Kochavi said that the firing of the Katyusha
rocket was a demonstration of the changes sweeping through the Middle
“It could be that the change will bring new opportunities, but in the short term, the risks are increasing,” he said.
rocket strike on Eilat did not come as surprise for the IDF, which has
been closely tracking Palestinian terrorist activity in Sinai since an
attack along the Egyptian border
in August left eight Israelis dead. IDF
assessments are that the perpetrators of Wednesday night’s attack were
either a Palestinian rocket cell from Gaza – affiliated with either
Hamas or Islamic Jihad – or Beduin freelancers working for the
Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak-Halevy said his city would function as usual despite the attack.
have no intention of changing our daily routine,” he told Army Radio.
“I call on all Israeli citizens to come enjoy the warm weather in our
city this Passover.”Yaakov Katz, Herb Keinon and Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report