Sailor mans cannon during routine patrol of Red Sea 311.
(photo credit: Yaakov Katz)
The navy is preparing to bolster its forces in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and along the Gaza Strip amid fears that terrorist groups in the Sinai will try infiltrating Israel by sea after construction of the security fence is completed along the border with Egypt.
The Defense Ministry has so far completed the construction of a fence along 170 km.
of the border and plans to complete the project by the end of the year.
The fence is 5 meters high and is covered in two layers of barbed wire. In addition, the border is lined with dozens of towers with radar systems which provide persistent ground surveillance of the border to warn of infiltrations.
In addition to the fence and radars, the IDF has also bolstered its deployment along the border with the establishment of a new regional brigade and an additional Combat Intelligence Battalion, responsible for surveillance along the border.
The Navy’s concern is that following the completion of the border fence, terrorists – trying to infiltrate Israel – will do so by sea. One scenario is that terrorists from the Sinai Peninsula either swim or sail from Egypt straight into Eilat.
Another scenario is that terrorists in Gaza or Egypt will try to swim or sail in the Mediterranean Sea into places like Ashkelon or Ashdod.
“When you close one place, the efforts will be diverted to another place,” a senior Navy officer said on Sunday.
The threats on the Navy’s mind include a potential terrorist infiltration by sea into Eilat, an attempt to detonate an explosives-laden boat next to an Israel Navy vessel and an attack against a vessel by an anti-ship missile.
In related news, the officer said that the Navy was continuing to sail through the Suez Canal despite potential threats against Navy vessels along the main passageway which connects the Mediterranean and Red seas.