Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, said during the weekly Knesset session, on Sunday morning that he instructed the army to impose a full closure over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the Hanukah Jewish feast which starts on Sunday evening.Mofaz claims that the Israeli security services are still receiving information and warnings that the Islamic Jihad, and other groups, are planning to conduct bombings in Israel.
Also, Mofaz asked the government to channel of 125 Million New Israeli Shekels, in order to complete the “settlements protection plan” in the southern Negev area.
Mofaz said that the government approved several months ago the transfer of 210 million; so far, 85 million of the total amount have been allocated.
Also, Mofaz added that he instructed the army to intensify the closure which is imposed over the Palestinian territories, and claimed that the army and the intelligence services received dozens of warnings that Palestinian groups are planning attacks against the army, and bombing inside Israel.
Mofaz instructed the army to resume the shelling of Palestinian territories in Gaza, and to carry further assassinations against Palestinian activists. He said that assassinations “have proven themselves as effective means to stop the attack carried out by resistance groups”.
“I ordered the army to stop the firing of homemade shells using any available means, and to resume the targeted killings”, Mofaz said, “This is my policy, and these are my orders”.
The army started on Sunday to reinforce one its southern bases, after a recent Qassam strike from the Gaza Strip wounded five soldiers there, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
Concrete cinder blocks were delivered a training base, which has been hit by the homemade rockets on more than one occasion, Haaretz added.
Mofaz also revealed that the army started implementing the “security strip” plan in the Gaza Strip. The plan, according to Mofaz, aims to limit he movement of Palestinian fighters and bat entry to areas used for firing homemade shells at Israeli targets.
Limiting the movement in these areas means shelling them, using ground and air fire, Mofaz added.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, told the ministers that he has ordered a “tough military response”, to counter the homemade shells.
On Sunday afternoon, Palestinian resistance fired a Qassam homemade shell at the Negev area; the shell landed and detonated in an open area.
Israeli military sources claimed that the Islamic Jihad developed shells, which are similar to the homemade shells developed by Hamas, but has lately cut back using them.