Daily Israel Report

Israel Bolsters Security on Sinai Border After Terror Attacks

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz is bolstering security on Israel's southern border due to warnings there's more terror in store.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 8/24/2011, 5:02 PM

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz is beefing up security around Israel's southern border.

The move comes in response to intelligence warnings that there are more terrorist attacks in store, similar to those carried out last Thursday by Gaza terrorists  near the Red Sea resort city of Eilat.

Among the measures planned are changes to the operational doctrine of the Navy Command Center in Eilat. The Center is responsible for protecting the southern region from threats that originate in the Red Sea.

Gantz ordered IDF personnel to bolster defensive measures along the border with Egypt. Intelligence operatives were also told to strengthen their data collection in Gaza and Sinai, and to upgrade efforts to locate and track terrorists who might be planning attacks against Israel.

The orders went into effect Wednesday afternoon.

“These are important changes that have come in direct response to the serious threat Israel is facing today from the Sinai Peninsula,” an IDF source said.

In addition, construction of the barrier along the border with Egypt may be expedited. A shootout occurred Monday between terrorists and IDF soldiers along the border not far from the site of last Thursday's deadly attack. Nevertheless, the Israelis were unable to see who they were shooting at, even though they launched flares to increase the visibility.

The multi-site terrorist operation near the Netafim Crossing on Route 12 was carried out by approximately 20 operatives from the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC).

Terrorists exchanged gunfire with both Israeli and Egyptian security personnel. During the course of at least four attacks, eight Israelis died -- most of whom were civilians. Five Egyptian soldiers -- including an officer -- also died during shootouts between Israeli security personnel and terrorists. During its own separate investigation, Egypt later identified three Egyptian nationals among the 20-member PRC terrorist cell that attacked southern Israel that day.

Routes 10 and 12 remain closed since the attack, increasing the number of traffic jams on other roads leading to Eilat, but also increasing the safety of tourists traveling to and from the resort area.