IDF soldiers north of Eilat, Sinai_311.
(photo credit: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)
The Education Ministry has forbidden schools and youth movements from
taking trips south of the Netafim Crossing, which is on the
Israeli-Egypt border, amid warnings of a terror threat emanating from
RELATED:IDF: Unit acted against protocol in training drillAnalysis: A sign of what Israel could faceThe IDF is concerned
The ministry later clarified that
it "diverted school trips from the Netafim seasonal stream outside Eilat in
compliance with a directive from the Defense Ministry," a spokesman said, refusing to go into detail. "Tomorrow the ban will be lifted."
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 August, terrorists crossed into Israel from
Sinai and killed eight Israelis. A number of Egyptian policemen were killed in
the cross fire, leading to a strain in ties between Jerusalem and
IDF fears are that following the elections in Egypt – and the
Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist victories
– terrorist groups will try to launch
another attack along the border with the objective of killing and possibly
kidnapping Israelis, and also as part of a general effort to derail diplomatic
ties between the countries.
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
Defense officials said that Israel’s concern was not
over the possibility that an all-out conventional war would break out with Egypt
following the elections, but rather with the possibility that terrorists will
launch a series of borderline attacks similar to the attack in August.
addition to the new brigade, the Southern Command has established a new Combat
Collection battalion to increase coverage of the border with specialized
surveillance and reconnaissance systems.
Until now, the Combat Collection
Corps, formerly known as Field Intelligence, consisted of three battalions – divided between the IDF’s Central, Southern and
Northern commands – and a number of surveillance teams equipped with high-quality
camouflage capabilities, intelligence-gathering systems, advanced radar systems
and remote-controlled weapons.
The Defense Ministry has so far completed
the construction of around 65 kilometers of fence along Israel’s border with
Egypt in face of the terror threats and a recent significant increase in the
number of infiltrations by African migrants.
An additional 40 km. of
fence will be erected by the end of 2011 and the section of 230 km. slated for
closure will be completed by September 2012.Gil Shefler contributed to this report.