BEIRUT: The Israeli army is to withdraw its troops from 22 communities along its borders with Lebanon and the Gaza Strip by the end of October, Israeli media reported Tuesday.
Israel’s Northern Command currently monitors security within 13 front-line communities near the Lebanese boundary, but from next month its soldiers will be redeployed elsewhere within the country, a Radio Israel report said.
Units in the Southern Command, tasked with protecting nine areas near Egypt’s Sinai and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, will also be moved.
Israeli army chiefs believe alternative measures, including electronic sensors and lookout posts, will provide more effective defense against potential security threats than the around 100 soldiers based within towns, a high-ranking officer in the Operations Directorate of the Israeli army general staff told reporters.
“We know where the threats come from, what routes threats could take, and we understand these measures are no longer needed,” a separate security source was quoted as saying in the Jerusalem Post.
“The need to defend from inside communities seems less relevant.”
In April, Israel erected a wall along 2 km of its border with Lebanon to defend the town of Metulla from any possible attack from Lebanese soil.
Israel also has the Iron Dome missile system, which is designed to shoot down rockets entering its airspace.
Last week, the defense system was deployed over occupied Jerusalem.
Israeli reports said troops would continue to guard settlements in the occupied West Bank.