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Monday, September 24, 2012

IDF soldier killed bringing food and water to illegal immigrants

The IDF soldier who was killed on Friday afternoon was apparently giving water to illegal immigrants being held at the Egyptian-Israeli border. At least one government minister would like to put a stop to that practice.
The IDF must immediately ban all contact between IDF soldiers and African ‘infiltrators’, which poses a threat to their lives, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said on Sunday.
“The IDF must put forward a procedure that bans contact with infiltrators - the life of an IDF soldier is not cheap,” Yishai said, before drawing a comparison between the ban and one which restricts IDF soldiers from hitchhiking.

“We must treat the infiltrators issue just as we did with hitchhiking, which IDF soldiers were allowed to do until it was determined that it poses a danger to their lives.”
On Friday, it was reported that 20-year-old IDF Corporal Natanel Yahalomi was shot and killed by terrorists in the Sinai peninsula after he and other soldiers had left a fortified position to give water to a group of migrants on the Egypt-Israel border.
“The cries of human rights organizations are preferable to the cries of bereaved families,” Yishai said.
Despite the initial reports about the shootout on Friday, during a visit to Yahalomi’s family Saturday night, Colonel Guy Biton, commander of the IDF brigade which patrols in the area along the border where the incident happened Friday said that initial IDF investigations have determined “that there is no connection between the presence of the infiltrators at the border and the incident with the terrorists,” Army Radio reported on Sunday.
Nonetheless, the IDF has issued instructions for troops serving at the border to exercise greater caution when dealing with migrants at the border, due to the fear that terrorists may exploit their presence to slip in undetected.
Despite the denial, it sounds like the story is true. I'm with  Yishai on this one. We should not be risking IDF soldiers' lives like that.

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