Israel: Military Chief of Staff Kohavi visits Gaza Division as roads remained closed

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Israeli military Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi visits the Gaza Division, southern Israel, August 4, 2022.
IDF Spokesman UnitIsraeli military Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi visits the Gaza Division, southern Israel, August 4, 2022.

Towns along the border have either alternative routes to exit or are entirely blockaded

Road closures along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip remained in place Thursday, the third day of such shutdowns.

Israel blocked roads along the border over fears of retaliation over the arrest of an Islamic Jihad leader, Bassem Saadi, in the West Bank on Monday, along with two other people. 

Towns along the border have either alternative routes to exit, or, in the case of Kerem Shalom and Kibbutz Nahal Oz, were entirely blockaded, only let out in emergencies at specific time intervals.

Israeli military Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi toured the Gaza Division on Thursday, ready to approve offensive plans should violence escalate. 

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Saadi is one of the Islamic Jihad's top officials in the West Bank, having been arrested several times and spending a total of 15 years in Israeli prisons. 

The Israeli military called around 100 reservists for assistance in securing the Gaza border area on Wednesday after a situational assessment. Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system was also bolstered following intelligence assessments that Islamic Jihad intended to retaliate. 

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that the security forces have been working for months to thwart terror attacks, calling it Israel's "only goal."

“We will continue this operational activity where and when required,” he said. “No threat will divert us.”

Prime Minister Yair Lapid also convened the Security Cabinet on Wednesday to discuss the tensions and to receive an update on the assessments and the actions Israel has been taking. 

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