IDF battalion commander says soldiers are on high alert for any heavy weaponry or rocket launches, and remain vigilant against attempted abductions.
By Reuters & Israel Hayom Staff
Fearing an Islamic State spillover, Israel in recent months has tightened security along its border with Egypt, due to a two-year campaign by the IS affiliate group in the Sinai Peninsula that has claimed the lives of hundreds of Egyptian police and soldiers.
Along the restive border next to northern Sinai, which has for years been a haven for heavily armed terrorists, IDF soldiers patrol the 6,000-square kilometer (2,300-square mile) desert terrain on a daily basis.
Israeli forces said the increased military presence along the Egyptian border is in response to unprecedented attacks carried out by the IS-linked terrorist group since last year, as well as an intelligence assessment that an extremist attack on Israel is possible.
“No fence in the world can stop terrorists, unless soldiers are guarding that fence,” said Zvi Arden, commander of a military outfit dubbed “Dragon Battalion,” along the Israel-Egypt border.
The soldiers monitor the border fence on a daily basis in anticipation of an imminent IS infiltration, and are on high alert for any heavy weaponry or rocket launches, and vigilant for any attempted abductions.
They change positions daily based on intelligence updates and scan for any signs of suspicion, assisted by radar systems built along the border.
Meanwhile, Israel and Egypt have maintained close security coordination in their joint fight against IS.
However, according to Arden, neither side has a solution against one of IS’s greatest strengths.
“They are very good at keeping secrets — for example, the Russian plane that they blew up. Very few people knew it was being planned, even among the group’s hierarchy. That’s why we anticipate a border attack without any advance warning,” said Arden, referring to the crash of the Russian passenger jet last October that killed all 224 people aboard.
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