IDF alert remains; school trips to resume

"People should carry on with their lives as usual," IDF officer says, army is working to stop an attack.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
December 5, 2011 20:25
2 minute read.
IDF soldiers in desert exercise [file]

IDF soldiers in desert exercise 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The Education Ministry will resume class trips to the South on Tuesday despite the IDF’s high level of alert along the border with Egypt due to fears that a terror cell is plotting a cross border attack.

The IDF raised the level of alert along the border over the weekend but senior officers said Monday that the military was heavily deployed outside Eilat and surrounding areas as part of an effort to thwart the attack.

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“People should carry on with their lives as usual and residents of Eilat can sleep soundly at night,” one senior officer said, adding that the IDF was working to stop the attack but that there was no guarantee it would succeed.

According to the officer, there have been regular terror alerts along the Egyptian border on an almost weekly basis since the August cross border attack during which Egyptian and Palestinian terrorists killed eight Israelis.

On Monday, the Education Ministry banned schools and youth movements from taking trips south of the Netafim Crossing on the Israeli-Egyptian border due to the terror threats. However, the trips will resume on Tuesday.

“Today [Monday] we diverted school trips from the Netafim seasonal stream outside Eilat in compliance with a directive from the Defense Ministry,” a spokesperson from the Education Ministry said, refusing to go into detail. “Tomorrow, the ban will be lifted.”

In addition, Edom Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Nadav Padan opened additional areas for hiking on Monday that had been closed since the August attacks.

The IDF is concerned that Palestinian and Egyptian terrorists will try to launch an attack along the border with Israel in an effort to further worsen ties between the two countries.

In recent months, Egyptian security forces have struggled to prevent Palestinians from launching attacks against Israel from Sinai. Gunmen have attacked Israeli targets on a number of occasions, and a pipeline from Egypt supplying gas to Israel, Jordan and Syria has been blown up several times.

Amid fears of a growing terrorist presence in the Sinai Peninsula, the IDF decided last month to permanently establish a new regional brigade along the Israeli-Egyptian border. The brigade will operate under IDF Division 80 and will be responsible for securing the city of Eilat and surrounding areas.


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