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IDF forces on northern border Photo: Ahiya Raved
IDF forces on northern border Photo: Ahiya Raved
 
Fire over Kibbutz Hanita Photo: Roee Segali
Fire over Kibbutz Hanita Photo: Roee Segali
 
  Photo: Amit Magal

 

Post-kidnapping: IDF may call reserves

Due to second front in north and in order not to affect operation in Gaza, army considering calling up reserves

Hanan Greenberg
Published: 07.12.06, 12:57 / Israel News

The Israel Defense Forces began sending special forces to the northern border Wednesday, as well as calling soldiers back from leave in order to reinforce the military array in the north.

 

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The Hizbullah attack on the north Wednesday morning, taking place simultaneously to IDF operations in Gaza, puts the IDF in a tough situation, especially considering the complicated maneuvers necessary on both fronts.

 

At this time, the Givati and Golani infantry brigades are deployed in Gaza, along with armored corps forces and others. The Israel Air Force is also operating intensely in the southern region, meaning it would require additional forces to operate in the north.

 

 

The IDF operations branch conducted several meetings to determine which forces would be sent north. It is imperative not to move the forces currently stationed in south, as the military is still in the throes of the Gaza operation.

 

Because the paratroopers are also currently engaged, in a series of operations near Nablus, additional forces are required in order to cover the northern arena.

 

Complicated situation

 

An IDF source explained that since Wednesday morning, with the onset of the Hizbollah attacks and their drastic results, several forces – including special forces - were called to the northern arena, and instructions were issued to call soldiers back from leave. The IDF estimates that if the situation on the northern border escalates, it will be necessary to call up reserves, in order for them to take control of lower-maintenance areas currently manned by soldiers in compulsory service, thus freeing those soldiers to assist in the northern arena.

 

The air force is also facing a complicated situation, due to its critical role in Gaza, where it has already executed 300 sorties. At this time, the IAF will have to undergo a major reallocation of resources.

 

Because of IDF operations in Gaza, the IDF Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, signed on Thursday a special decree allowing for the immediate enlistment of reserves, if the need arises. Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, also signed the decree and reserves were immediately contacted regarding reserves service to begin next week.

 

At this point, enlistment of reserves will be limited, most of them in combat assistance positions such as mechanics and munitions experts.

 

"Due to the nature of the situation, when the IDF organizes a longer-range operational effort, there is a need for more depth, and that is why reserves are being called upon," an IDF source told Ynet.

 

Reserves have currently been enlisted for a period of eight to 10 days, although there is the distinct possibility that this period will be extended.

 

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