For decades the Sinai was this incredibly large, barren wilderness that was, at worst, a problem for Israel’s police force – and most of THAT was marijuana.
But, all that’s changed.
Weapons and terrorists have entered the Sinai, and the Egyptians are powerless to do anything about it. Worse, the rise of an Islamist government in Cairo may turn the almost open border between Israel and Egypt into a nightmare.
When I left Israel in 2006, bombings happened on a monthly basis and the rising death toll was a constant source of horrific tension. When I returned in 2010 for nine months, not one bomb exploded anywhere and there was a most welcome sense of peace. All of that because of the wall around Judea and Samaria (aka, The West Bank).
Are we going to see a return of bombings in Israel?
I hope not.
But, I’ll be there in a couple months to see for myself.
Knesset approves IDF request to call up a further 16 battalions if needed
By Aaron Kalman, May 2, 2012 | Times of Israel
The IDF has issued emergency call up orders to six reserve battalions in light of new dangers on the Egyptian and Syrian borders. And the Knesset has given the IDF permission to summon a further 16 reserve battalions if necessary, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.
An IDF spokesperson said intelligence assessments called for the deployment of more soldiers. An army statement highlighted last August’s infiltration from the Sinai north of Eilat in which eight Israelis were killed, and said the subsequent division of that area into two distinct military zones necessitated additional manpower.
According to 2008?s Reserve Duty Law, combat soldiers can be called for active reserve duty once every three years, and for short training sessions during the other two. Rising tensions between Israel and Egypt and the ongoing unrest in Syria caused the army to ask the Knesset for special permission to call up more soldiers, more often.
The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee approved the request recently, enabling the IDF to summon up to 22 battalions for active duty for the second time in three years. Already, the army has called up six of them.
“This signifies that the IDF regards the Egyptian and Syrian borders as the potential source of a greater threat than in the past,” the former deputy chief of staff, Dan Harel, said on Wednesday night.