The IDF has deployed Armored forces near the Israel-Egypt border, moving tanks closer to the fence, Ynet has learned. The unusual move followed Monday's terror attack on defense contractor crews building the new security fence.
The attack claimed the life of Said Phashpashe, 36, from Haifa. Golani soldiers who were scrambled to the area killed two terrorists.
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Ynet was able to document the presence of Israeli tanks in close proximity to the border – maneuvers which are barred by Jerusalem's peace treaty with Cairo.
IDF tank near the border (Photos: Yoav Zitun)
The last time the IDF boosted its front-line combat vehicle presence in the sector was in August 2011, following a murderous terror attack by the Islamic Jihad, which left nine Israelis dead.
At the time, the military deployed several armored personnel carriers along the border, as part of the heightened security measures in the sensitive area.
Shuttled into new position
Ynet's chief military commentator Ron Ben Yishai noted that several months ago, Israel and Egypt arrived at an agreement by which Cairo would be able to deploy 20 tanks near the border, to ward off attacks by Bedouins on Egyptian forces, despite the fact that such a move contradicts the peace treaty.
It is likely that the deal also allowed Israel to do the same in favor of increased protection for the area's communities.
Gaza Division Southern Brigade Commander Col. Tal Harmoni held a press briefing Monday, following the terror attack: "We are in a race against the clock to close the border," he told reporters. "We have to seal off the border as soon as we can to prevent exactly these kinds of attacks."
Harmoni added that as tragic as the attack's result were, "It could have been far worse – a large-scale attack was prevented.
"The IDF has strong ties with the Egyptians forces, who are working tirelessly to thwart such incidents," he concluded.
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