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Israel Boosts Defense Against IS

Israel Boosts Defense Against IS Homeland Security TodayThe Israel-Sinai border has become an area of concern as terror organizations, including those affiliated to the so-called Islamic State group (IS), have solidified their presence and created instability in the region. The threat of IS in the Sinai has increased further over the past year, evidenced by the recent downing of an Egyptian civilian aircraft in the Sinai Desert. 

According to the Jerusalem Post, a militant close to the IS affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula said the group plans to carry out a "big operation" in southern Israel, which will include an attack on the resort city of Eilat.

Meanwhile, Abu al-Ayna al-Ansari, a Salafist movement senior official in the Gaza Strip, said  Israel and the US are among IS’s chief targets, stating: "The Islamic State educates its people that Israel and the United States are the leaders of the infidels." 

He said that Wilayat Sinai, the Egyptian branch of IS, "will be the pioneers in this confrontation with Israel." Ansari vowed that "it is only a question of time when there will be a big operation in Eilat and in the south of Israel."

In response, the Israeli Navy exercised a scenario in which IS fighters take over an Israeli ship. The exercise on March 31 included Israeli naval combat soldiers, missile ships, and the Shayetet 13 naval commandos, who were responsible for the extraction of hostages aboard the hijacked ship.

The mock attack began with antitank and rocket fire, followed by the hijacking of the Israeli ship. The navy practiced attempting to negotiate with the hijackers, concentrating forces around the captive vessel, and then carrying out multiple commando raids to free it.

Major exercises of this sort take place a few times a year. Each exercise prepares the navy for operations in a different maritime theater. Previously, they have trained for operations in Israel’s north, preparing for the threat of Hezbollah, as well as off the coast of Gaza.

In addition, to counter the threat of infiltration by enemy divers, the Israeli Navy is building an underwater fence near the Princess Hotel in Eilat and near the Taba Crossing. The navy is also placing more resources to prevent surface attacks as those events would likely not have advance intelligence.

In the meantime, the Israeli Navy is trying to avoid playing into terrorists’ hands by working to ensure that daily life in Eilat is not disrupted. Despite the threat, all boats, from massive cruise liners to jet skis, will continue to be able enjoying spending time in the waters off Eilat.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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