Israel Deploys Missile Defence System Amid Growing Tension In Gaza

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TEL AVIV (Alliance News) - Israel has deployed several missile defence system batteries following the escalation of tensions with militant Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip, according to local media.

Israel Radio reported on Tuesday that the Israeli army has been put on a heightened state of alert and that Iron Dome batteries had been put in place in central Israel over fear of rocket attacks.

An army spokeswoman confirmed that the batteries had been deployed but stressed that it was a routine move, not an exceptional measure.

Israel and the Gaza-based militant group Islamic Jihad have recently been exchanging threats, with Islamic Jihad swearing vengeance after the Israeli army destroyed a tunnel on the edge of the Gaza Strip this month, killing 12 people including 10 militants from the group.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned of retaliation, saying any attack on Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip will be met with a harsh response.

Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's special representative for international negotiations, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that "extremist statements & provocation vs. Israel by Islamic Jihad significantly harm the people of Gaza & are very dangerous."

Greenblatt wrote that the Palestinian Authority must accept full responsibility in Gaza: "US is working with the PA, Israel, Egypt & others to try to improve the situation. Gaza deserves better."

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