Israel reinforces Gaza Division, expands barrier to ensure safety of soldiers positioned along border

The Israeli military has decided to revise its policy on riot control along the Gaza border and to instil new and clearer instructions to its troops.

By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News

Israel has begun construction works aimed at expanding the security barrier between the Gaza Strip and Israel on Monday, Walla News first reported.

The decision was made following pressure put on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the IDF to address the incident of St.-Sgt. Barel Shmueli being critically injured during mass riots along the Gaza border on Saturday.

Shmueli’s parents, fellow soldiers and lawmakers alike questioned how an armed terrorist was able to reach his position, behind a concrete wall that is technically in Israeli territory and was built to prevent such cases.

Following extensive discussions between commanders of the IDF’s Southern Command, the Israeli military has decided to revise its policy on riot control along the Gaza border and to instil new and clearer instructions to its troops.

As a first step, measures will be taken to guarantee better spatial control of soldiers positioned along the border. These will include reinforcing the wall in certain areas and erecting a new barricade meant to make it harder for rioters to reach the soldiers.

Additionally, an investigation launched after the incident found that snipers positioned further away from the border barrier were meant to provide cover for soldiers positioned closer but only shot occasionally, allowing rioters to slowly approach the barrier and eventually reach Shmueli. The guidelines for future instances were clarified, the IDF stressed.

Furthermore, the investigation found that tear gas grenades that were dropped by drones during Saturday’s riots were deflected by strong winds and failed to have any impact on the rioters.

The Gaza Division, which is primarily tasked with ensuring the security of the civilian population that lives near the Gaza border, was reinforced with additional troops, including an additional sniper unit.

Regarding the terrorist who shot Shmueli, the IDF said that “his identity is known” and that he is being protected by Hamas and hiding somewhere in the Gaza Strip.