Gantz orders army to remain on high alert amid Gaza tensions

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz instructs the military to remain on high alert in light of the threat of continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, his office says.

According to the ministry, Gantz’s position is that Israel “respects everyone’s freedom to worship,” an apparent reference to ongoing tensions in Jerusalem between Jewish and Muslim residents of the city. “But Israel will do what is necessary to defend its citizens from all aggression,” his office says.

Earlier today, the defense minister met with top security officials in military headquarters in Tel Aviv, including IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and head of the Shin Bet security service Nadav Argaman, as well as other top IDF generals, Gantz’s spokesperson says.

“At the end of the situational assessment, Gantz stressed the importance of the readiness of troops and plans in case there is an escalation of violence and to remain in contact with local councils in the Gaza periphery and to prepare the home front,” his office says.

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