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Israel braces for revenge after killing Islamic Jihad commanders in Gaza

Israel braces for retaliation, after the IDF said it had killed three Islamic Jihad operatives in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning.
 A fire breaks out at an apartment following an explosion in Gaza City, Palestinian Territories on May 9, 2023. - Nine people were killed May 9, 2023 before dawn in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, according to the Health Ministry of this territory under the control of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 2,000 Israelis near the Gaza border have left their homes, fearing rocket fire from the strip after Israel's operation on Tuesday morning that killed three Islamic Jihad leaders.

Villages and towns in the near-Gaza region are preparing for massive evacuation of thousands of residents, as Israel braces for revenge attacks. The Israeli army had recommended the residents of Nahal Oz and Kfar Aza to leave soon, but it is still unclear when buses will be provided for the residents to leave their homes. Other villages are also making plans for evacuation.

Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed three Islamic Jihad militant group leaders and 10 others, including several children, Tuesday, AFP reported. 

Shortly after the Tuesday morning strike, Israeli authorities ordered the closure of all schools and businesses in a 40-kilometer (25-mile) perimeter from the Gaza border, for all main traffic axes to be closed, as well as the Sapir College. The train station in Sderot is also closed for the day, by order of the Israeli authorities, as well as the border crossing points from Gaza into Israel.

The Israeli authorities launched the "breath of air" plan, where Israeli residents of the area are invited to travel to hotels and guest houses across Israel and stay free of charge for a limited period of time, to recuperate from the tension they are under.
In a more dramatic move, the Sderot municipality contacted on Tuesday about 4,500 residents — mostly elderly people, new immigrants and chronically ill, who are entitled to be transferred to hotels at the expense of the state — to organize their evacuation from the city.

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