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With mounting concern over potential terror infiltrations into Israel, the IDF will inaugurate a new brigade on Wednesday that will deploy along the Israeli-Egyptian border and work to prevent Palestinian terrorists from crossing into the country.
In January, three people were killed after a suicide bomber who originated in the Gaza Strip crossed into the Sinai Desert, infiltrated Israel and blew up in a bakery in Eilat. While the timing of the new brigade's inauguration closely follows the suicide attack, the decision to establish it was made by OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant over a year ago, following the disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
Col. Udi Bar-Muha will receive command over the Sagi Brigade during a festive ceremony held at the new headquarters near Mount Sagi in the Negev and attended by Galant and Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Imad Faris. The brigade will be responsible for patrolling 170 kilometers of the Israeli-Egyptian border.
"There is a major terror threat along the border that starts in the Gaza Strip from where terrorists cross into Sinai and then try to enter into Israel," explained one of the brigade's new officers. "Our job will be to stop the flow of crime and terror along the border."
The brigade's primary mission will be to stop and prevent criminal and terror infiltrations into Israel along the 220-km. border, most of which is not fenced in and consists of mountainous terrain that is difficult to patrol.
In addition to Palestinian terrorists, the border is also used by criminals who smuggle prostitutes, drugs and other illegal goods into Israel.