JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israel Defense Forces will withdraw its troops from southern Israeli communities near the Gaza border that are not directly adjacent to it.
Soldiers will remain on guard in the three communities adjacent to the border with Gaza, the IDF announced Sunday. The new rule will go into effect on Jan. 1, the IDF said in a statement.
“The move was made after an evaluation of the security situation, with the understanding that the protection the IDF offers to residents of Gaza border communities is optimal, and in coordination with the heads of the communities,” the statement said.
The communities are calling for a more sophisticated border fence between Israel and Gaza to prevent the infiltration of terrorists.
The forces were deployed to the southern communities during Israel’s operation last summer in Gaza.
The IDF deployed two Iron Dome anti-missile batteries near southern Israeli cities last week.