Six months after the Eilat terror attack
which claimed the lives of eight people, Israel's defense establishment is still none the wiser on who planned the attack. Defense officials now fear an abduction attempt and have ordered IDF
forces to open pursuit in order to thwart an abduction.
Forensic experts found eye covers and hand-cuffs on the bodies of the terrorists who carried out the August attack which points to an intention to kidnap soldiers or citizens near the border.
Recently, the IDF has been witnessing extensive terrorist activity in the Sinai Peninsula involving terrorists from the Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, the defense establishment does not have sufficient intelligence on the non-Gaza based terror cells operating from Sinai. It has identified an Islamization trend led by Egypt's Salafi movement which influences young Bedouins in the region.
Bedouins help terrorists for free (Photo: Herzl Yosef)
This is manifested in aid given to terrorist cells who require transport which at times is done with no charge, for ideological motives. The young Bedouins, who make a living out of smuggling, hold almost daily fire exchanges with Egyptian forces which have left more than 20 officers wounded in the last couple of months.
The IDF is also facing an infiltration problem on the Egypt border. Most infiltrators arrive to Israel via Eritrea and pay their Sinai smugglers a fee of $300-$3,000, the army believes.
Thus far, the fence built along the border has succeeded in preventing infiltration attempts. Recent months have also seen a drop in the number of infiltrators which is directly connected to the construction of the fence.
An Egyptian officer deployed in the border area said that he prevented the infiltration of 300 Africans to Israel in the past few months.