IDF division to patrol Egyptian border

Givati, armor, Border Police will combat terrorist infiltration, smuggling.

nitzana border 224.88 (photo credit: GPO [file])
nitzana border 224.88
(photo credit: GPO [file])
Following concerns in Israel over growing terror activity since the IDF pulled out of the Gaza Strip, the army on Thursday established, for the first time, a permanent division of troops along Israel's border with Egypt. Armored forces and Border Police will work with the Givati division to prevent weapons smuggling and terrorist infiltration into Israel from Egypt. The division will be stationed from Nitzana in the north to Eilat in the south, and will employ vehicles and surveillance equipment in tactics appropriate to the desert conditions. Meanwhile, the Southern Command will continue to push the Hourglass Plan for fencing off areas that function as smuggling portals. Security officials point out that in addition to infiltration by illegal foreign workers and prostitutes and tobacco and drug smuggling, the border region is a hotbed of terror activity. Security officials also acknowledge that al-Qaida's recent foothold in Egypt could bring worldwide terrorism into Israel if the border were left unsecured. In addition, the army suspects that terrorists can leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing and re-enter Israel from Sinai. In September, responsibility for security the Philadelphia Route between Gaza and Egypt was handed over from the IDF to Egypt.