Flying Lions Return to Route 12
The "Flying Lions" infantry battalion has been redeployed along the newly reopened Route 12.
Route 12, which travels along the Israel-Egypt border, was closed following a coordinated terrorist attack on a civilian bus in August 2011 that killed eight Israelis.
The "Flying Lions" arrived on the scene 30 minutes after the attack began to unfold. They participated in searching for the terrorists, closed the road, and engaged in two weeks of intensive operational activity dealing with the attack.
The army has since erected a 23-foot high fence and dug ditches that run alongside Route 12 to prevent vehicles from passing one another.
In addition, dozens of new observation posts, equipped with security cameras, antennas and radar systems, were positioned along the road. The observation posts can monitor activity deep within the Sinai Peninsula.
The IDF also plans to erect new fortified positions along the border to protect key strategic locations, such as the Netafim crossing, 12 km. north of Eilat.
This Sunday, six months after the attack, the battalion returned to the scene to reopen the road for traffic and ensure its security during the first weeks of renewed operation.
The "Flying Lions" is dedicated to training experienced soldiers from Israel's infantry brigades for operational command positions.
"We had the privilege of defending this route,” Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Shlomi Ben Lulu, said, “The soldiers understand that with their defense they are enabling Israeli civilians to return to routine life."
"The soldiers work extremely hard at this front," he said. "However they see the people that can now freely and safely travel across Israel and pass through.”
“They understand why they are doing this and the feeling of satisfactions is completely worthwhile,” he added.