Gilad Schalit arrives at his home in Mitzpe Hila 311.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesman)
Israel is increasingly concerned with the continued anarchy in the Sinai
Peninsula and is reviewing operational contingencies in the event that it will
need to pursue attackers into Egyptian territory.
The concern in Israel
is focused on a possible attack along its border with Egypt similar to the one
that took place in August when a group of armed Egyptians crossed into Israel
and killed eight Israelis. IDF soldiers found plastic handcuffs on their bodies
and the defense establishment believes that they planned to abduct a soldier or
One question likely to arise is what will the IDF do in the
event that a soldier is abducted and taken into Sinai and whether it will have
the same freedom to operate there like it has in the event that a soldier is
abducted by Hamas and taken into the Gaza Strip. An Israeli incursion into Sinai
would immediately be perceived as a violation of Egyptian
The IDF is concerned with the increasing instability in
Sinai and the Egyptian’s lack of ability to regain control over the terror-ridden
territory. IDF sources said that terrorists from Iraq and Afghanistan were
believed to be operating in Sinai alongside Palestinians and
Hamas, for example, is believed to have established forward
bases and rocket storage centers in Sinai in an effort to protect its assets
from airstrikes. Hamas believes Israel will not strike terrorist targets inside
Egyptian territory due to the impact it would have on Israeli-Egyptian
Israel has called on the Egyptian government to increase its
efforts to restore order in Sinai but so far the Egyptian military has held back
from engaging terrorist elements and from trying to dismantle the infrastructure
in the peninsula.
Israel agreed to the deployment of three Egyptian
military battalions in Sinai, although they are having limited success in
stopping terrorist activity in the peninsula.
Arms smuggling into Gaza is
believed to be up by almost 20 percent. Recent caches have included some
advanced weaponry stolen from Libyan military storehouses, such as Russian-made
Hamas has also dug tunnels capable of smuggling
cars into Gaza and approximately 40 cars are smuggled into the strip on a weekly
basis, according to statistics obtained by the IDF. A Hummer and Land Rover SUVs
were recently smuggled into Gaza.
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