IDF deploying additional forces along border with Egypt

Decision to deploy Kfir Brigade battalion comes amid intelligence reports of Palestinian terrorists plotting attacks against Israel.

By
September 13, 2011 03:13
2 minute read.
Soldiers patrolling the Egyptian border [file]

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

Israel continued to beef up its military presence along its southern border with Egypt on Tuesday with the deployment of an infantry battalion from the Kfir Brigade.

The decision to deploy the battalion along the border comes amid intelligence reports that Palestinian terrorist organizations based in the Sinai Peninsula are plotting attacks against Israel along the border. On August 18, Palestinian and Egyptian terrorists crossed into Israel near Eilat and killed eight Israelis in a series of attacks.

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On Sunday night, shots were fired from the Sinai into Israel at an IDF patrol. No one was injured in the attack and the shooter was detected fleeing the border area. IDF sources said it was possible that the shooter was sent to the border to test the IDF’s response.

The Kfir Brigade consists of six battalions and is the largest infantry brigade in the IDF, with a specialization in counter- terror operations in the West Bank. The battalion joins additional forces already deployed along the border since the attacks last month, including units from the Golani Brigade.

On Tuesday, The Jerusalem Post revealed that due to the continued threat from the Sinai Peninsula, the IDF has decided that aircraft need to accompany regular border patrols along the border.

Some of the patrols are accompanied by unmanned aerial vehicles and others are accompanied by helicopters.

Behind the requirement for air support is a concern that Palestinian terror cells will cross the border, infiltrate into Israel and try to kidnap an IDF soldier.

Two weeks ago, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz decided to significantly beef up military forces along the southern border with Egypt in wake of intelligence information that Palestinian terrorists were planning a large attack against Israel.

Gantz’s orders included a bolstering of defensive measures along the border with Egypt as well as a stronger emphasis on collection of intelligence by the IDF in the Sinai Peninsula in an effort to locate and track terrorists that may be planning attacks.

Meanwhile Tuesday, the German press claimed that head of the IDF’s Planning Directorate Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel visited Cairo on Monday for talks with the Egyptian military regarding the attacks last month, during which IDF troops accidentally killed Egyptian security personnel.

As head of the Planning Directorate, Eshel is responsible for relations with foreign militaries and visited Egypt shortly following the attacks to present the findings from the military probe into the border incident.

Defense officials would not confirm Eshel’s visit but said that military cooperation was ongoing between Israel and Egypt.


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