Israelis close to Gaza ordered to stay near bomb shelters, avoid gatherings

Israel fears massive rocket fire in response to launching of new anti-Islamic Jihad operation in the Gaza Strip.

 A picture taken on August 5, 2022, shows Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza City in retaliation to earlier Israeli airstrikes. (photo credit: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture taken on August 5, 2022, shows Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza City in retaliation to earlier Israeli airstrikes.
(photo credit: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

Fearing massive rocket fire against Israeli cities, the IDF Home Front Command issued instructions on Friday for Israelis living close to the Gaza Strip after the IDF struck Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza.

The instructions are valid from Friday morning until 6 p.m. on Saturday, although the IDF may release more instructions after that time period.

According to the instructions, people living in proximity to Gaza were told not to have gatherings over 10 people in open spaces and 50 people in closed spaces. Places of work that have access to shelters were given the okay to keep working, but those that don't were instructed to close, as were education institutions.

The instructions for the west and center of the Negev and Lachish were the same except they could have gatherings of up to 100 people in closed spaces.

An Israeli girl carries her belongings as she walks out from a public bomb shelter back home, following Israel-Hamas truce, in Ashkelon, Israel May 21, 2021. (credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)An Israeli girl carries her belongings as she walks out from a public bomb shelter back home, following Israel-Hamas truce, in Ashkelon, Israel May 21, 2021. (credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)

The rest of the country was given no special instructions.

Israel Police said in a statement that police alertness was being raised throughout the country. Furthermore, the Border Police was prepared to call in 10 companies of reservists.

Southern cities prepare

Following the IDF announcement Ashkelon Mayor Tomer Galam announced the opening of the city's public shelters. The Beersheba Municipality also announced that it was opening its bomb shelters for local residents. Other shelters were being opened in Rishon Lezion, Ra'anana and Be'er Yaakov.

The Ashdod municipality announced an emergency situation and cancelled any events that were supposed to take place.

The Interior Ministry released a statement banning going to the beaches of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Palmahim and Zikim.

Soroka-University Medical Center announced that it was preparing for any eventuality in cooperation with the Home Front Command and its instructions.

Public bomb shelters have been opened up throughout central and southern Israel, including in major cities like Tel Aviv, Beersheba and Rishon Lezion.

Nerves on the rise

The Home Front Command website crashed on Friday night due to overloading. As nerves are on the rise about an impending rocket attack throughout not just Gaza border communities, but also throughout the rest of southern Israel and perhaps even central Israel, residents have flocked to the website to check what the security instructions are for their cities.

Due to the servers being overloaded with too many users, the website crashed, instead showing an error message. The Command notified that it is aware of the issue and working to fix it.