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By Arie Egozi
“It’s so much fun here in Sinai. A cheap vacation. It’s not more dangerous than in Jerusalem” – that was more or less the duplicated comment of thousands of Israeli travelers, who had chosen to have their vacation in Sinai during the Succot holiday.
Thousands of Israelis spent time in Sinai disregarding the concrete warning issued by the Counter-Terrorism Headquarters. This time it ended without harm.
But if. god forbid, something would have happened there due to the ISIS presence in the region, the same travelers, who decry the professional organization that had warned them about the danger in Sinai, would have turned to IDF’s help in their evacuation. In this case, IDF soldiers would have had to risk in operating within Sinai’s no man’s land.
Some people are not so intelligent. Thousands of Israelis were willing to go to the Beduin villages in Sinai, disregarding the concrete recommendation of an authorized organization, just in order to save a few shekels.
It is a combination of stupidity and audacity.
Israel should have warned whoever crossed the Taba border on their way to their vacation in Sinai that no one would come to their rescue in case ISIS men reach the beach where they were sunbathing.
Last week, Nimer Abu-Amar, a 15 year old from Lakyia, was shot by Egyptian soldiers at Mount Harif region along Israel’s border with Egypt.
Nimer and his family worked as civilian contractors for the Defense Ministry, and were performing maintenance work near the border fence. He was shot by fire from the direction of Egypt and was evacuated to hospital by a military helicopter urged to the scene.
He died of his wounds shortly after.
The IDF is investigating the incident, but it is already obvious that something in this area has gone completely wrong. The immediate questions – why weren’t the maintenance works coordinated with the Egyptian army? Why didn’t IDF forces in the area react to the Egyptian fire?
These are only two of the disturbing questions. I hope the IDF will successfully uncover the deficiencies. However, it is clear even before the conclusion of the investigation that this incident was not supposed to occur at all.
Israel has been repeatedly enhancing its fortifications instead of declaring categorically that any further infiltration attempt into our territory would be responded as vigorously as never been seen.
It has been evaluated for a long time by the IDF that in case of a new conflict in the north, Hizballah will try to infiltrate swiftly into Israel’s territory in attempt to gain control over settlements along the border fence.
Preparing to such a scenario, the IDF has been recently completing some 30 km of fortifications along the border within the framework of a perennial program, launched three years ago, that has been accelerated during the last months. It includes a series of obstacles that does not exist in any of the other sectors within Israel’s boundaries: 10 meter high reinforced concrete walls, mobile concrete barriers, sand embankments, the building of protected towers and the modernization of the old border fence, part of which had been built during the 80s.
It is the right thing to do, but it is not enough. No obstacle could block the infiltration of a well trained Hizballah unit into an Israeli settlement.
So what would serve as deterrence? A clear statement that such attempt will be responded in such a firm way, that what had happened in Lebanon during the second Lebanon war would seem like a children’s game compared to it. The IDF has got the ability to demonstrate to Hizballah what would happen if the organization tries to kill civilians or take them as hostages.
In general, it should be made clear to Hizballah, that is undoubtedly planning a new round of combatting, that the next time would be different, and that our response would be destructive, lethal, something that the organization has never experienced during its conflict with Israel.
So on Thursday the television broadcasted training of the IDF’s counter terror unit, whose role is to deal with an incident of a settlement occupation, in the northern or southern parts of Israel. Training such as unit and keeping it on alert is the correct thing to do, however only fear would make the terrorists think twice before they act. And I’m talking about the fear from something terrifying, devastating.