WATCH: Israel ups security level along Egypt's Sinai border

Israeli forces said the increased military presence along the Sinai border is in response to unprecedented attacks carried out by the IS-linked militant group since last year.

By REUTERS
March 21, 2016 13:01
1 minute read.

Israel ups security level along Egypt's Sinai border

Israel ups security level along Egypt's Sinai border

Fearing an Islamic State spillover, Israel has in recent months tightened security along its border with Egypt after an IS affiliate group's two-year campaign which has claimed the lives of hundreds of Egyptian police and soldiers.

Along the restive Egyptian border in the northern Sinai Peninsula, IDF soldiers are seen every day patrolling across the 6,000-square kilometer desert terrain, which has for years been a haven for heavily armed militants.

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Israeli forces said the increased military presence along the Sinai border is in response to unprecedented attacks carried out by the IS-linked militant group since last year, as well as an intelligence assessment that an extremist attack on Israel is possible.

"No fence in the world can stop militants, unless soldiers are guarding that fence," said Zvi Arden, commander of a military operation dubbed "Dragon Battalion," along the Israel-Egypt border.

The soldiers monitor the border fence on a daily basis in anticipation of an imminent IS infiltration, are on high alert for any heavy weaponry or rocket launches, and are vigilant for any instances of kidnapping.

They change positions daily based on intelligence updates and scan for any signs of suspicion, assisted by radar systems built along the border.

Meanwhile, Israel and Egypt have maintained close security coordination in their joint fight against IS.

However, according to Arden, neither side has a solution against one of IS's greatest strengths.

"They are very good at keeping secrets. For example, the Russian plane that they blew up. Very few people knew it was being planned, even among the group's hierarchy. That's why we anticipate a border attack without any advance warning," said Arden, referring to the crash of the Russian passenger jet last October which killed all 224 people aboard.


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