IDF on Elevated to Highest Terror Alert Ahead of Elections

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has ordered security forces to the highest possible state of alert, ahead of national elections this Tuesday. Strict anti-terror measures will take effect Sunday.

Alex Traiman, | updated: 11:50

As national elections near, terrorists have been increasing activity on all fronts within Israel and along Israel’s borders. Several terror incidents were perpetrated during the past week, while others were prevented by security forces operating with maximum vigilance. A state of emergency has been declared through the end of the month.

Mofaz insists that terrorists must not be allowed to influence Israel’s democratic process by perpetrating large-scale attacks. “We must do everything to protect Israeli citizens on Election Day,” Mofaz stated during a security evaluation held in his Tel Aviv office.

Several major attacks were prevented this week as IDF forces nabbed explosive laden terrorists en route to their destinations. Israeli police foiled one such attack after a dramatic chase on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway. A van carrying nine Arabs sped through a roadblock and was pursued, leading to the capture of a terrorist with suicide belt near the entrance to Jerusalem.

Another attack was foiled this week as the IDF nabbed a terrorist in Jericho.

IDF operations will be intensified throughout the Jewish regions of Judea and Samaria, where several Palestinian Authority-controlled towns are located. Additional checkpoints are being established throughout the country to prevent terrorists from entering into major Israeli population centers.

A particularly large concentration of policemen will be stationed around Jerusalem, which is considered to be the easiest infiltration point for terrorists emanating from Hamas-controlled regions.

Three terrorists were shot and killed just north of the Kissufim junction along the Gaza border Thursday morning. Terrorists were positioning a 30kg explosive at the site, which was the main entrance into the Jewish communities of Gush Katif prior to the forced evacuation in August. The terrorists were affiliated with Islamic Jihad.

At least two Kassam rockets were fired Friday from Gaza toward Israeli towns. No injuries or damage were reported, although the ‘Red Dawn’ alert system was triggered. The system is designed to give nearby residents a 30-second warning on an incoming missile, and often causes panic amongst citizens rapidly trying to find cover.

In Hevron, two bomb attacks were reported without injuries Thursday night. One explosive device was hurled at security forces. IDF soldiers also opened fire on two armed Arab terrorists who approached a military post.

Hevron is home to the Cave of the Patriarchs, one of Judaism’s holiest sites. In the cave are buried biblical Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah, as well as Adam and Eve.

In addition to sophisticated bombings and rocket attacks, terrorists are resorting to firebomb attacks as well, hurling them at Israeli motorists throughout the country.

Six firebombs were pitched at vehicles near the large Israeli town of Modiin. Two firebombs were thrown near a gas station along Highway 443, a central artery connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

In Samaria, two firebombs were hurled at cars near Shechem. Molotov cocktails and stones were tossed at an IDF vehicle traveling near Ofra. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

A large explosion in Nahariya Thursday was not connected to terrorist activity, but was connected to criminal motives, Israeli police said. A hand grenade was thrown into a seaside nightclub injuring five. The criminals opened fire seriously injuring a man, before speeding away. No arrests have been made, and police are investigating the attack.

Increased security forces are also now being deployed along the Lebanese border in response to threats by Hizbullah; and on the borders of Gaza and Egypt, following multiple infiltration attempts and continued rocket attacks.

Meanwhile, new Palestinian Authority Interior Minister Sayeed Seyam has vowed that the PA will no longer arrest terrorists perpetrating attacks against Israelis, according to Reuters news service. Seyam who was recently appointed to his post as part of a Hamas government claims, “The day will never come when any Palestinian would be arrested because of his political affiliation or because of resisting the occupation.”

Israeli security personnel held a yearly meeting Thursday with their U.S. counterparts to discuss bi-national military cooperation.

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