IDF units are expected to replace Border Guard forces along Israel's borders with Jordan and Egypt in early 2011, according to recent discussions initiated by Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Major-General Benny Gantz.
Israel signed peace agreements with both Arab countries.
An army official familiar with the subject told Ynet that IDF forces can carry out the mission successfully and at a lower cost.
Over the past few years Border Guard forces, under the IDF's command, have been operating along the border with Egypt to curb the smuggling of drugs, arms and women into Israel. About two years ago the Border Guard took on the same responsibilities along the Israel-Jordan border.
The army apparently plans to transfer the elite Border Guard units to other areas and replace them with units belonging to the IDF's Home Front Command. These units will undergo special training before their deployment.
In a letter addressed to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Ramat Hanegev Regional Council head Shmuel Rifman said the proposed change would be a mistake.
Referring to the smuggling phenomenon, he wrote, "The IDF does not have the necessary tools or authority to deal with this issue. Such a decision would be a cause of trouble for generations."