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Israel weighs options against growing rocket threat from Sinai (WORLD TRIBUNE) TEL AVIV, ISRAEL 04/17/12)Source: http://www.worldnewstribune.com/2012/04/17/israel-weighs-options-against-growing-rocket-threat-from-sinai/ WORLD TRIBUNE WORLD TRIBUNE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
TEL AVIV — The Israeli military has been assigned to propose short-term measures to counter rocket attacks on its southern port.

Military sources said the General Staff has ordered an examination of options that would protect the southern port of Eilat from rocket strikes from neighboring Egypt.

The sources said the military has assessed that Hamas and Iranian-sponsored proxies would accelerate attacks on Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula in an effort to destroy the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

“We will strike at those responsible for firing toward Eilat and attempting to harm Israeli citizens,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said. “There will be no compromises on this matter.”

The sources said the military’s Home Front Command has drafted a set of options to improve the defense of Eilat, a community of 30,000. They said the recommendations included the deployment of a missile warning network in the city as well as bringing an Iron Dome missile and rocket defense system.

“Right now, we have very limited options because the terrorists are hiding in Egypt, where they feel very safe,” a military source said.

The sources said the military regime in Cairo has done little to stop the growing rocket threat in Sinai, the latest strike of which took place on April 4. They said Hamas and other movements have recruited hundreds of Bedouins to attack the Eilat area.

“Our cooperation with the Egyptians is seasonal,” Lt. Col. Yoav Tilan, who commander a border combat unit, said. “It depends on how much they want to govern Sinai.”

Israeli military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said the military foiled more than 10 attacks from Sinai since February 2012. Kochavi did not elaborate but said the peninsula would be used for additional plots against Israel.

“Terror organizations are strengthening their hold on the Sinai Peninsula,” Kochavi said. “The Middle East, the place where the pace of armament is already the fastest in the world, is dramatically changing.”

So far, the military has brought a range of armored combat vehicles to the Eilat area to stop fighters from Sinai. The vehicles included the Namer armored personnel carrier as well as the armored U.S.-origin Hummers equipped with the Remote-Controlled Weapons Station, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. (Copyright © 2012 East West Services, Inc. 04/17/12)

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