The Israeli military announced on October 4 that it will deploy additional snipers, infantry and armored forces around the Gaza Strip in order to “thwart terror and infiltrations” from the Palestinian-controlled area. The decision to reinforce the troops was reportedly taken following a situational assessment by Israel’s Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot along with senior army and Shin Bet officials.
Israeli media also revealed that more batteries of the Israeli Iron Dome anti-rocket system were deployed in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip to counter any rocket or mortar attack.
A day later, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Israeli military successfully prevented any military confrontation during the Jewish holidays last month. Lieberman went on to warn the Palestinian Hamas movement from any escalation or riots around the Gaza Strip.
“We passed the month of Tishrei exactly as we had planned, without a conflagration of violence from the rioters on the Gaza border. ‘After the holidays,’ has arrived. And I tell Hamas leaders: ‘Take this into account.’ Thank you to the IDF soldiers,” Lieberman said in a tweet, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Despite of the escalation from the Israeli side, Yahya Sinwar, leader of the military wing of Hamas, said in an interview with Yediot Aharonot and La Repubblica that the Palestinian movement is not looking for a new war that will benefit no one.
“A new war is in no one’s interest, certainly not our interest. Who really wants to confront a nuclear superpower with four slingshots? War doesn’t achieve anything,” Jerusalem Post quoted Sinwar as saying during the interview.
More than 160 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military since the beginning of the protests near the separation fence around the Gaza Strip in March 2018. Palestinian activists are planning to hold new protests in the upcoming hours, which may lead to new casuatlies and further tesions between the two sides.