The Israeli army began moving infantry units to the south and calling up reservists in preparation for a further escalation of hostilities with Hamas as of j. press time Nov. 14.
Israeli residents near the border areas were instructed to remain in bomb shelters until further notice. School was canceled for Nov. 15 in southern Israeli communities located up to 25 miles from the Gaza border.
More than 50 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel in the hours after the assassination of Ahmed Jabari, damaging cars and sending dozens into shock. Three rockets were aimed at Dimona, the site of a nuclear plant.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters Nov. 14 that “Israel is not interested in engaging in war, but Hamas’ provocation in the past days has made it imperative that we act sharply and decisively.”
He declared an “elevated level of preparedness” within a 25-mile radius around Gaza.
Not long after Jabari was killed, Israeli President Shimon Peres called President Barack Obama to update him on the situation.
“Our intention is not to raise the flames, but already for days, day and night, they are shooting rockets at Israel,” Peres told Obama, according to a statement from Peres’ office. “Women cannot fall asleep. I was today there with the children. You know, there are limits.”
“Israel has sent Hamas a clear message that it is prepared to defend its citizens,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a Nov. 14 news conference.
In a security message, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv urged Americans in Israel to “exercise caution and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety and security in light of the escalating level of violence in Gaza and southern Israel.” — jta n