Israel and Egypt are working together to stop Hamas from “cynically using” Sinai
to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel, a top IDF officer said on
“We regularly coordinate with the Egyptians and synchronize our
efforts to coordinate joint action against Hamas,” Brig.-Gen Nadav Padan,
commander of the IDF’s 80th Division, said during a tour of the border on
Padan’s briefing came ahead of the planned opening next week of
Road 12, which has been closed since August when eight Israelis were killed in a
coordinated terrorist assault along the border.
One of the noticeable
changes since the attack is the rapid pace of construction along the
240-kilometer border, 100 kilometers of which are now closed by a new
In August, for example, there was barely any barbed wire along
the section of the border used by the terrorists to cross into Israel.
addition, the IDF plans to erect new fortified positions along the frontier to
protect key locations, such as the Netafim crossing, 12 km.
Eilat. It is also investing large resources in intelligence gathering, to create
a clearer understanding of terrorist groups that operate in Sinai.
Egyptian military operates four battalions in Sinai, which are mostly used to
protect tourist sites as well as the natural gas line that runs through the
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has approved the insertion of two
more battalions but the Egyptians have yet to act on the approval they received
from Israel, which is required due to the peace treaty between the
A senior IDF officer said that terrorist elements were moving
freely throughout Sinai and sometimes right under the nose of the Egyptian
security forces. There is concern that additional attacks are in the works. The
IDF does, however, have a weak intelligence grasp over Sinai, which makes it
difficult to learn of and prevent attacks.
In 2011, more than 16,000
African illegally crossed into Israel via the border, the most since the mass
migration began seven years ago. According to the IDF, the numbers have slightly
dropped since the beginning of the year, leading the army to believe that the
fence is effective in areas where construction has been completed.
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