Israel deploys drones over Gaza amid tensions

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JERUSALEM, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Israel on Thursday deployed attack drones over the Gaza Strip and continued to close major roads in the south amid rising tensions with the Palestinians.

The Israeli Air Force deployed "dozens" of attack drones over Gaza as part of its preparations for locating and intercepting possible rockets or anti-tank fire launched by Palestinian militants in Gaza, the Hebrew-language Ynet news website reported.

Chief-of-Staff of the Israeli army Aviv Kochavi toured the area near Gaza in the morning and approved "offensive plans" that might be used in case of an escalation of violence with Gaza militants, Ynet reported.

Meanwhile, the closure of major roads in southern Israel continued for the third day for fear of escalation with Gaza.

An Israeli military spokesperson said in a statement that the military has been denying civilians' access to the areas near the Palestinian enclave due to "a concrete warning of an attack by the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza border."

The Ashkelon Regional Council in southern Israel said the train service has been suspended and farmers were required not to work on the fields near the Gaza fence.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a security consultation in the morning to discuss "the security situation in the south and the steps necessary for continued security in the area."

The tensions were sparked by an Israeli raid in the flashpoint Palestinian city of Jenin in the northern West Bank overnight between Monday and Tuesday, during which a 17-year-old boy Palestinian boy was killed, and members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad including the group's political leader Bassem al-Saadi were arrested. Enditem

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