Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon met heads of local authorities from both southern and northern Israel Sunday, and explained why the IDF decided to stop sending soldiers to serve as sentries at communities close to the border.
"The pattern according to which we provide the communities with guards from non-combat units who carry out activity in the sentry's box,” he said, is "anachronistic and irrelevant." Security does not rely on things like that.
"The military has not left the sector,” he said. “It is still there with the best units, in all of these sectors.
Yaalon insisted that removal of the sentries was not carried out because of financial considerations, but of thoughts about “how we used the force in a more efficient way, and how we make best use of the power we have."
He added that both South and North have obstacles protecting them, including a fence, and sensors with the ability to pinpoint an intrusion. “A situation in which soldiers from the rear do sentry duty at the communities and switch every two weeks does not provide the solution for a mortar round, for a rocket, or for tunnel. That is why people should speak more responsibly.”
Yaalon's comments come after a series of protests by the local residents opposed to the changes made to local security arrangements, saying they felt "abandoned" by the army.