The IDF announced on Tuesday morning 13 Tishrei 5774 that is it removing soldiers that have been serving in communities in the northern and southern areas of the country. The program in which soldiers are assigned to protect communities in sensitive areas is being ended due to budgetary considerations. This refers to 22 communities in the north and south, including some communities close to a border fence. Nine of the communities are in the north and the remainder in the south. The decision marks an end of placing soldiers in these communities over the past decades. The deployment of soldiers in communities will continue for the time being in communities located in Yehuda and Shomron.
Military officials’ report the communities are not going to be abandoned but the soldiers will be replaced with technological systems including electronic fences in addition to area patrols.
Chaim Yellin, who heads the Eshkol Regional Council, released a statement that the IDF is abandoning area residents. He explained that some of the communities involved border Egypt and Gaza, and common sense dictates this is not the time to pull soldiers out.
Walla News quotes military officials stating the decision was not compelled by budgetary considerations but rather by a reevaluation of the operational and security realities in the affected areas.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)