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Monday, January 10, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israel using buffer zone to deter Gaza infiltrators

TEL AVIV — Israel's military is maintaining a buffer zone along the Gaza Strip.


Military sources said the Israel Army has been operating what they termed an effective buffer zone along the border with Gaza. They said the zone contained manned and unmanned systems as well as sensors to detect Palestinian infiltration into Israel.

"We can detect anything that comes to the border," a military source said.

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The sources said the buffer zone was 300 meters wide and prohibited to all civilians, Middle East Newsline reported. They said potential infiltrators could be spotted more than a kilometer from the Israeli border through the use of ground radar and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Most of the infiltration attempts and attacks have been reported from northern Gaza, near Gaza City. Military sources said Hamas and its Palestinian militia allies have favored the northern route because of its proximity to 34 Israeli communities. Last year, more than 100 infiltrations were attempted along the Israeli border.

The buffer zone has been cleared with both manned and unmanned patrols. The zone has been ringed by army towers, which contains sensors, cameras and remote-control heavy machine guns.

The military operates a larger one-kilometer wide strip where all intruders are tracked. Those identified as Hamas or other Palestinian attackers have been targeted by main battle tanks, mortars and helicopters.

The sources said the buffer zone has been hampered by fog and Palestinian tunnels. They said the military was seeking systems that could operate through fog as well as detect underground activity.

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