Israeli soldiers of the Caracal battalion carry their comrade on a stretcher during a 20-kilometer march in Israel's Negev desert, near Kibbutz Sde Boker.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli military officers believe that “it is only a matter of time” before the radical Islamic State jihadist organization attempts to “employ its significant military capabilities” against towns and cities that straddle the border with the Sinai Peninsula.
Israel Radio on Friday quoted a senior officer serving in the IDF Engineering Corps as saying that the military spent the past year preparing for anticipated hostile actions from armed Islamist groups in Sinai.
Lt. Col. Gilad Avralinzi, an engineering officer with the 80th Division, said that the border fence that was constructed along the Israel-Sinai frontier will during the course of the next year be outfitted with sophisticated electronics and surveillance equipment, including cameras, optics, and radars.
According to Israel Radio, the 80th Division has been assigned responsibility for 450 kilometers of the borders that Israel shares with both Egypt and Jordan.
Last month, the Egyptian affiliate of Islamic State claimed coordinated attacks that killed at least 30 security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula.
While most of the worst attacks have hit Sinai, a remote but strategic region bordering Gaza, Israel and Egypt's Suez Canal, smaller blasts and attacks have become increasingly common in Cairo and other cities. Reuters contributed to this report.