The Israel Defense Forces-which is said to be preparing for the possibility of an Islamic State-linked terror attack along the Israel-Egypt border-is outlining its defense of the Timna Airport, the new international airport that is currently under construction in southern Israel.
The airport is expected to become operational in 2017. As part of the planned defense, a roughly 18.5-mile fence is being designed to encompass the airport and its adjacent area.
Wilayat Sinai (formerly Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis), the largest Islamic State-affiliated jihadi group in the Sinai Peninsula, on Thursday released a video in which its operatives claim to have fired three rockets at southern Israel’s Eilat port last week. The group claimed it plans to fire up to 150 rockets daily at Egyptian security forces in Sinai and the Eilat port.
It is believed that Wilayat Sinai will attempt to target Egyptian security forces along Israel’s southern border using what has become its signature modus operandi-surprise attacks by dozens of terrorists on several targets simultaneously. The IDF believes these terrorists will attempt to disguise themselves as smugglers, or perhaps even as Egyptian security forces, so they would be able to approach Israeli troops in the sector.
Earlier this week, IDF Southern Border Brigade Deputy Commander Col. Arik Hen said the threat emanating from the Sinai was a priority for the Israeli military, and that it “affects military readiness for various scenarios that may develop” near or on the border.