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Israel, Egypt reinforce Gaza border due to attack fears

JTA

August 29, 2011 | 10:48 am

Israel Defense Forces Chief of the General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. Photo by SSG Teddy Wade

Israel Defense Forces Chief of the General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. Photo by SSG Teddy Wade

Israel’s military went on high alert, and both Israel and Egypt sent extra reinforcements to the Gaza border, amid fears of an Islamic Jihad attack.

Intelligence reports indicated that Islamic Jihad is planning to launch an attack in the area. The members of the terrorist organization are believed to already have crossed from Gaza to Sinai, according to reports.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of the General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz ordered the reinforcement of IDF troops early Monday morning. The decision to bolster IDF forces in the south was coordinated with Egypt, according to the IDF.

Egypt on Monday deployed 1,500 troops in the Sinai Peninsula, according to a report from the Britain-based Al-Hayat newspaper.

“The IDF views the Hamas terrorist organization as responsible for any terrorist activities emanating from the Gaza Strip,” according to a statement from the IDF.

The reinforcements were ordered two weeks after eight Israelis and at least five Egyptian soldiers and police were killed in a coordinated attack on Israeli civilian vehicles near Eilat in southern Israel.  The terrorists reportedly entered Israeli through Sinai.

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