IDF Faces ‘New Reality’ of War along ‘Peace Border’ with Egypt
The IDF’s Sagi Brigade is training soldiers with tools to deal with new threats at the border with Egyptian, ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Once considered a quiet border with Egypt, which officially is at peace with Israel, the area has become a prime target for Bedouin, Al Qaeda, Hamas and Egyptian terrorists. A new security fence, almost completed, has sharply reduced infiltrations of Africans, who frequently have been exploited by terrorists and used as shields in attacks.
One solder was killed last month when terrorists, including at least one Egyptian, fired on a group of soldiers after their comrades left the post to bring water to Africans detained at the border.
The Sagi Brigade, long responsible for guarding Israel’s border with Egypt, has begun implementing an advanced training regiment focusing on new combat techniques and maneuvers designed to help forces in the border region deal with the area's evolving reality.
The training program teaches commanders about the IDF's tools for managing threats – including canine units, various armaments, intelligence, engineering capabilities, and a variety of vehicles that operate in the border region for intelligence-gathering purposes or protection, among them the Granite and Raccoon armored vehicles.
The program also prepares commanders to defend against complex attack patterns that terrorists may carry out.
“The drills and techniques are designed to help us act quickly and make fast decisions,” Edom Division Commander Brig. Gen. Nadav Padan told the IDF Spokesman’s website. “What is expected from us is to protect the area. It requires a level of creativity and analysis, and it demands that we respond to the evolving challenges.”
Recent cross-border attacks – along with a general trend of intensifying terror activity in the Sinai Peninsula – have necessitated that IDF forces in the border region learn to deal with an increasing terrorist threat.
These developments have led to an increased IDF presence in the area around the Egyptian border, including the deployment of APCs (armored personnel carriers) and a program to reinforce outposts and roads.