UPDATE: SOUTHERN ISRAEL ATTACKED BY HAMAS TERRORIST MISSILES AGAIN LAST NIGHT. ENTIRE AREA REMAINS UNDER HIGHEST ALERT FOR ANTICIPATED PALESTINIAN TERRORIST ATTACK.
For all of the IDF’s talk about beefing up the Sinai border with Egypt in light of the recent (and reportedly impending) terrorist attacks, the porousness of that 255 kilometer (158 mile) border remains an unmitigated disaster.
According to Israel’s Population Authority, more than 2000 people illegally crossed into Israel via the Sinai last month–an all time record (an estimated 111 came across the border in the last 24 hours). Some 85% of these illegals were captured and taken to the Saharonim detention center in the Negev, but an estimated 15% made it to various cities in Israel–mainly to Tel Aviv and Eilat.
Coming primarily from the Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Turkey, and China, most of them are undoubtedly coming to find a job or a higher standard of living, but who knows how many terrorists are infiltrating in as well?
Back in May, Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak-Halevy wrote a letter to Defense Minister Barak several days after an incident in which a large number of illegal African immigrants made it across the border, managed to walk into Eilat, and started going from neighborhood to neighborhood knocking on doors asking for food and water.
That letter to Barak seems particularly prescient today, reading in part: “today it was illegal infiltrators, and tomorrow it can be terrorists sent by Islamic extremists. I am calling on you again, do not abandon the residents of my city.”
Yet the IDF has done little to stem the tide–despite the fact that a 1.4 billion shekel fence is supposed to be built. All that the IDF has in place is the Saguy Brigade’s light-infantry Caracal battalion in which men and women serve jointly. Obviously that battalion is terribly insufficient for the task at hand.
And, as recent events show, some of the infiltrators are, as forewarned by Yitzhak-Halevy, Islamic extremist terrorists–some of whom are now in Israel waiting to carry out an attack.