IDF deploys Iron Dome in Ashdod

Following hunger-strike prisoner re-incarceration and ongoing violence at Temple Mount, IDF deploys anti-missile defense system in Ashdod as “precaution”

Iron Dome defense systems in southern Israel (Ben Hartman)

Iron Dome defense systems in southern Israel (Ben Hartman)

The IDF deployed an Iron Dome battery in Ashdod Thursday following recommendation by the southern command.

The anti-missile system was last deployed in southern Israel last month due to threats from Hamas of rocket attacks on Israel. The threats were made because of Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Allaan’s deteriorating medical situation due to his 65-day hunger strike.

Allaan, who was released due to warnings of irreversible damage to his organs and permanent brain damage, was arrested and incarcerated again on Wednesday after the state prosecution received a new warrant. Interviews with the prisoner proved his medical state was stable.

Security officials also raised concerns over ongoing clashes with Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The clashes have been ongoing since the Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah, with heavy security due to violence in the Old City. Palestinians were caught with pipe bombs and have continued to barricade themselves in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Prime Minister Netanyahu held an emergency meeting with security officials on the ongoing violence midweek. He stated that, “We will use all necessary measures to fight against those who throw stones, firebombs, pipe bombs and fireworks in order to attack civilians and police. We will lead systemic changes and will set a new standard of deterrence and prevention… We are changing policy for a war against rock and bottle throwers.”

The IDF reported to Israeli media that the deployment of the Iron Dome to Ashdod is a precaution and that there is no immediate concern or threat of rocket attacks.