"IDF officials said the terror plot may constitute an attempt to undermine the Palestinian Authority's statehood bid at the United Nations."
Urgent terror alert in southern Israel
Defense establishment says Hamas, other terrorists planning imminent attack
IDF forces in southern Israel boosted their alert level Friday evening following concrete information about the intention of Hamas and other terror groups to carry out an imminent attack on the Israel-Egypt border.
IDF officials said the terror plot may constitute an attempt to undermine the Palestinian Authority's statehood bid at the United Nations.
Large army forces deployed along the Egypt border after 10 pm Friday to reinforce the regular presence in the area. The troops are undertaking various operations in order to neutralize the terror plot. The border area has also been reinforced by advanced technological means and Air Force support following the Eilat-area attack about a month ago.
The army's presence in the area was reinforced about four weeks ago, following the terror offensive near Eilat that left eight Israelis dead. Terrorists who infiltrated Israel opened fire at two Israeli buses and two cars; the assailants also targeted IDF troops and police forces responding to the attacks.
A high state of alert was declared in the area some two weeks ago, following intelligence information pointing to another terror plot in the region. At the time, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai estimated that "a terror cell comprising at least 10 members" is looking to stage an attack in Israel.
Earlier today, defense authorities said they were satisfied with the ability of IDF and police forces to contain protests and riots by Palestinians at various West Bank sites.
Forces deployed en masse and were equipped with large quantities of crowd dispersal means, but officials said the number of protests was "medium" and noted the army did not utilize all means at its disposal.
The wide-scale deployment will remain in place until Sunday at least.