Egyptian smugglers recently managed to cut into the new security fence on the Israeli border for the first time, Ynet has learned. The cell members, who used hydraulic and mechanical means to cut through the fence, were caught by the IDF.
The incident occurred last month. The Egyptians were smuggling goods for criminal, and not nationalistic purposes, and took advantage of a blind spot in the fence.
Senior elements in the IDF confirmed the report. Army forces had discovered the breach during routine activity and after a chase managed to detain the smugglers and turn them over to the police. It has been revealed that the smugglers had attempted to break the fence on five separate occasions in the past few months.
The IDF is currently working on installing thick metal boards and iron rods on the fence which will make it harder for infiltrators to cut into it.
Working on security fence (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
In an effort to solve the "blind spot" problem, the army is also enhancing its ambushes and performing disruptive activity.
The IDF is also considering installing a fairly expensive electronic alert system that sends alerts to a military war room, which in turn will dispatch forces to the site.
The fence is set to be complete by the end of the year, together with the observation layout. The project is half way through completion.
Southern Command data suggest that there has been no infiltration of Africans in locations where the fence has been deployed.
The fence can also be credited with considerably reducing the number of criminal infiltrations – from 60 incidents in 2009-2010 to 25 on average in the past year. Meanwhile, the army fears that the smuggling route will serve terrorists from Sinai.