Rivlin visits border forces
Rivlin visits border forces Kobi Gideon/GPO

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin today visited the border protection system between Israel and Egypt near Nitzana.

The forces include the Karakal, Arayot HaYarden, Bardelas, and Leviot HaBiq’a battalions who are tasked with routine security activities in Judea and Samaria and along the Israeli borders with Egypt and Jordan, and include mixed-gender units serving in a variety of positions.

The President was escorted on his visit by IDF Personnel Directorate head Maj Gen Moti Almoz, Border Protection Division Commander Brig Gen Amir Avstein, Adom Formation Deputy Commander Col Dudu Cohen, and Paran Brigade Commander Col Yitzhak Ben Bassat.

The border protection force, established in 2017, is responsible for routine security of Israel’s borders. Its soldiers and commanders play a significant role in combat intelligence and infantry teams and as forward observers and command post commanders. Between 2012 and 2016, there was a 150% increase in the number of women serving in IDF ground forces, and the number of female observers in the border protection forces has grown significantly over the last decade, additionally being incorporated into the trackers’ unit.

President visits border protection forces
President visits border protection forces Kobi Gideon/GPO

The President observed an exercise that demonstrated a wide range of capabilities to deal with the challenges of the southern sector and the ongoing operations to protect the Israeli-Egyptian border. "Men and women of the IDF, this is the President," he said over the communication system at the end of the demonstration, and thanked them. "Thank you for an excellent demonstration of your capabilities. Well done! Out."

The President reviewed the various observation facilities and even piloted one of the drones operated by the combat intelligence teams.

"You play such an important role for all of us," the President said, adding, "this is not just any other unit. You face serious questions that pertain to all of the tribes that make up Israeli society. At the end of the day, we all live together in the same society and country and we must all protect it. We will not leave our defense in the hands of others, and if we don't protect our country, no one else will."

The President warmly thanked the soldiers and commanders and asked them to "look after themselves while they are guarding us".

Rivlin visits border security forces
Rivlin visits border security forces Kobi Gideon/GPO