Israeli soldiers from the Givati brigade return to Israel from Gaza.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Two months after the end of a lengthy conflict with Hamas in Gaza, the cease-fire in place since end of August is holding, and the army is doing everything it can to safeguard the quiet, a company commander stationed near the Strip told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Inside Gaza, Hamas has restarted its domestic rocket production industry, and is again digging tunnels, but on the border, it is holding its fire as talks over reconstruction efforts continue.
Among those patrolling the border is Capt. Matan Levi, a company commander in the Givati infantry brigade’s Shaked Battalion. His unit is under the command of the Gaza Division’s southern territorial brigade.
Levi’s unit is an assistance company, which carries out special missions designed to enable the battalion to meet its duties. To that end, the company employs more advanced and classified equipment than other infantry companies.
“We safeguard the fence, and most importantly, the communities here,” he said. “We try to ensure that no one infiltrates Israel and approaches local communities.”
In recent months, there have been several attempts by Palestinians from Gaza to cross the border, resulting in their capture.
If there is an infiltration alert, “We operate according to a certain drill, and capture the infiltrator,” Levi said.
“All in all, it’s quiet. We continue to identify the enemy, as in the past, and protect the area. That’s why we are here, that’s the most important mission. To defend the Israeli people,” he added. “We’re doing everything to safeguard that quiet.”
The company carries out patrols on vehicles and on foot, working through a variety of means, which the army prefers not to disclose. Levi said his company carries out high profile and low profile security missions, but could not go into further details.
He also commanded his unit during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. “We were an inseparable part of the Gaza operation. Like the other units, we located and destroyed tunnels,” he said.