Northern Command raises alert level

Police report 11 specific warnings of planned terrorist acts across country.

gaza kisufim border 248 (photo credit: )
gaza kisufim border 248
(photo credit: )
The IDF declared a high state of alert along the Northern border on Sunday fearing attempts by Hizbullah to abduct Israeli civilians or soldiers serving at IDF posts near the border, or fire rockets at Israel. The army instructed farmers whose fields are close to the Lebanese border to refrain from working their land in the coming days. In addition, the heads of security in communities located next to the border were briefed on the situation and advised to take the necessary precautions. Following a security assessment of the situation earlier in the day, the Northern Command decided to take the necessary steps to safeguard soldiers and civilians. With Purim festivities and the upcoming elections perceived by terror groups as an ideal time to "heat up the situation," the Northern Command is expected to maintain the high level of alert until the end of the month. Israel holds the Lebanese government responsible for any attacks stemming from areas under its control, an army statement said. As the general closure imposed on Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan Valley enters its second day, the security establishment registered 59 warnings with 11 relating to concrete plans by terrorists to launch attacks in the near future. "The concrete warnings of plans by terror groups to carry out attacks in the coming days generate from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria," a security official said. Security officials estimate that it is only a matter of time before a new wave of violence erupts. "It is no secret that the terror groups, especially Hamas, are preparing for a new cycle of violence," another security official said. Late Sunday afternoon, three Kassam rockets were fired at the western Negev. No one was wounded and no damage reported. Since Friday, thousands of regular police, Border Police and volunteers have been deployed in city centers, vacation sites, parks and entertainment areas, with the high presence set to remain until children return to school after Purim. The police said they were also operating mobile checkpoints and increasing security checks around transportation centers, and they also intend to open police points in places with a high concentration of people. Traffic police plan to increase inspection on main roads and will look to crack down on those driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. They will also direct traffic and set up parking areas at various sites. In cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, and the local authorities, the police will attempt to prevent the distribution and use of dangerous toys, after having seized thousands of items in recent weeks. "The police will do all they can to enable the people of Israel to celebrate Purim in peace and security," a spokesman said.