Route 12 opens for 1st time since Eilat attack

IDF says security improvements made along the route in the aftermath of August terror attack enabled the road's opening.

February 26, 2012 09:37
1 minute read.
Soldiers patrolling the Egyptian border [file]

Egypt border 311. (photo credit: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters)

Route 12, bordering Egypt, was opened to traffic on Sunday morning for the first time since being closed in August when eight Israelis were killed in the area in a multi-pronged terror attack emanating from Sinai, according to the IDF Spokesman's Office.

The road will be opened from the Sayarim Junction to the Netafim checkpoint from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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The IDF stated that security improvements made along the route in the aftermath of the attack enabled the road's opening.

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 barrier.

In August, for example, there was barely any barbed wire along the section of the border used by the terrorists to cross into Israel.

In addition, the IDF plans to erect new fortified positions along the frontier to protect key locations, such as the Netafim crossing, 12 km. north of Eilat. It is also investing large resources in intelligence gathering, to create a clearer understanding of terrorist groups that operate in Sinai.

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.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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