The IDF has withdrawn soldiers from border communities in the north and south, citing technological and other improvements which make their deployment unnecessary, The Jerusalem Post quoted a senior army source as saying on Tuesday.
The decision to have fewer boots on the ground was made possible by a more efficient system of electronic sensors, patrols, and lookout posts, along with other components, he said.
“We know where the threats come from, what routes threats could take, and we understand these measures are no longer needed,” the source said. “The need to defend from inside communities seems less relevant.”
Until now, soldiers have been posted at the entrance to nine towns and villages near the Gaza and Egypt borders, and 13 communities in the north.
In Yehudah and Shomron, however, the Central Command will continue assigning soldiers in populated areas to protect against terrorist attacks.
Haim Yalin, head of the Eshkol Regional Council near the Gaza Strip, did not accept the rationale.
“We totally oppose this,” he told the Post. “There is no replacement for soldiers who defend places like Kerem Hashalom and Nativ Ha’asara, and give residents a sense of security. When people see soldiers with their uniforms and flak jackets guarding, they sleep soundly.”
Yalin said communities located within a kilometer of Gaza especially required the additional protection.
“The minute there will be an infiltration by terrorists, people will go to the heads of local councils and ask why we allowed the soldiers to leave. We live here and breath the air; we understand the threats. We know the threats posed by fog, and the dangers posed by farmers who work near the Gaza border,” Yalin said.