A series of restrictions have been placed on communities in southern Israel for Tuesday and Wednesday following a number of IDF assassinations of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) officials in the Gaza Strip early on Tuesday morning
The restrictions were put into place on the instruction of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in anticipation of the response to the IDF operation against the PIJ in Gaza, launched under the name Operation Shield and Arrow.
"The IDF and the Shin Bet tonight precisely carried out their mission against the leadership of the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. Any terrorist who harms the citizens of Israel will regret it," tweeted Gallant.
What restrictions were put in place due to Israel's Operation Shield and Arrow?
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced the closure of the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel shortly after the strikes began.
The Home Front Command has directed residents of communities in southern Israel to stay near shelters and banned any gatherings in open places of over 10 people and in closed buildings of over 100 people.
All schools in communities in the Lachish region, in communities near the Gaza border, and in the western and central Negev will be closed on Tuesday, and in Beersheba, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced that classes will take place remotely.
In addition to Ben-Gurion University, the Ashkelon Academic College informed students that all studies on Tuesday would be taking place over Zoom, and the Sapir Academic College canceled both classes and exams altogether, telling students to take care of themselves instead.
All classes have also been canceled Yavne due to the ongoing situation.
Bomb shelters have been opened in a number of towns in cities in southern Israel in light of the situation, including Ashkelon and Beersheba. Roads and train lines in southern Israel near the Gaza Strip have been closed to civilian traffic.
In Tel Aviv, the decision was made to continue as normal, though the municipality later opened all public bomb shelters. The Ramat Gan municipality later followed suit.
The defense minister also announced the activation of the "Gust of Wind" program, which allows residents of communities near the Gaza Strip to stay in guest houses across the country during escalations. Local authorities are being updated about the implementation of the project.
The Gush Etzion Youth Council opened an emergency call center to help aid those living in the South amid Operation Shield and Arrow, including hosting them if necessary.
Residents of the South interested in being hosted in Gush Etzvion can apply by filling out the form here: https://forms.gle/wLXJuguLEPjSs1559
“We focus a lot on the divide in our society, but moments like these prove that we are truly brothers united," said Gush Etzion Regional Council head and Yesha Council head Shlomo Ne'eman. "I would like to send a big thank you to the Gush Etzion Youth Council, and the municipality youth department, who are leading the efforts to reach out to those from the south. Our hearts are with the south, and with our brave IDF forces throughout the country.”
Ra'am MK Walid al-Hawashla asked Gallant to open shelters in unrecognized Bedouin towns in the Negev, where thousands of residents live and have no safe shelters to go to in case of rockets.