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High alert in the south – army keeps close eye on Egyptian border
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
IDF closes road along Egyptian border
Army officials playing it safe after Palestinian masses enter Sinai; borderline communities on high alert, riots feared in Jerusalem

Highway 10 along Israel's border with Egypt was temporary closed down to civilian traffic Thursday. IDF officials said the closure was ordered in order to protect area motorists.

 

The army said that the alert level at the Israel- Egypt border was boosted after Palestinian masses entered Sinai from the Gaza Strip in recent days. Officials believe that terror activists may have also taken advantage of the border breach.


Palestinian masses enter Egypt - can you spot the terrorists? (Photo: AFP)

 

In addition to the road closure, the IDF adopted several other measures in order to boost the level of security along the border, military officials said.

 

Security officials from the various defense establishment branches have been consulting to assess the situation, while the IDF has maintained contacts with southern communities and has been guiding local residents in accordance with the assessments.

 

The alert level has also been boosted at borderline communities, with civilian defense forces holding drill Thursday. However, local residents said they were not alarmed by the situation.

 

Temple Mount riots feared 

Earlier, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter instructed senior police officials to boost their alert level in order to prevent infiltrators from entering Israel through the Egyptian border, as a result of the "great tide of Palestinians who left Gaza to Rafah and the Sinai."

 

Defense officials in Israel are concerned that terror cells could exploit the breach on the Philadelphi route in order infiltrate the Negev or in order to abduct Israelis from the Sinai and transfer them to the Gaza Strip.

 

Meanwhile, the police will limit the entry of male worshippers into Jerusalem's Temple Mount on Friday, for fear that radical elements will take advantage of the situation in the Gaza Strip and start riots at the end of the prayer.

 

Following a discussion held at the Jerusalem District by Commander Aharon Franco, the police decided to only allow men over the age of 40, in possession of Israeli identity cards, into the Mount.

 


First published: 24.01.08, 21:05
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