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Israel deploys air defense amid tensions with Hamas

English.news.cn   2013-12-26 23:19:31            

JERUSALEM, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli military on Thursday continues to deploy Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in the south, getting prepared for a possible escalation of violence in the vicinity of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The Walla news website reported on Thursday that some batteries were deployed overnight in Ashdod and Be'er Sehva in southern Israel, in addition to the one deployed near Sderot on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said while visiting a military drill in the West Bank that the Israeli military is getting prepared for possible escalation in hostilities with Palestinian Militants.

His statements came a day after an Israeli Defense Ministry employer was killed by a Gaza sniper while fixing the border fence damaged by a recent storm.

In addition, a missile was launched towards the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council in southern Israel on Wednesday night, without causing any damage or injuries.

"We practice, and at the same time our eyes are watching the different sectors and the Gaza Strip after Tuesday's incident," Ya 'alon said, the Walla news website reported.

"We expect Hamas to impose its authority on its people. If it doesn't do so, we will react as we did yesterday, in a strong manner," Ya'alon said, referring to Israel's retaliatory air raids against Gaza following a shootout killed a three-year-old girl and her father and injured several others.

The air defense systems are capable of intercepting missiles and artillery shells launched from a distance of up to 70 km. They were used frequently in the Israel-Gaza conflict in November 2012.

Editor: yan
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