“Our preparedness is always high”

Southern Israel’s Highway 12

The outgoing Operations Officer of southern Israel’s Edom Formation recently discussed developments in that region, in an exclusive interview

Date: 11/09/2012, 3:52 PM     Author: Hadas Duvdevani

Lt. Col. Tal Carmel recently concluded two years of serving as Operations Officer of the Edom Formation, which protects Israel’s southern border regions. In an exclusive interview to the IDF (Zahal) Website, he recently discussed the changes that those areas have witnessed during his term. 

The past year and a half have seen a number of terror attacks in the area along the Israel-Egyptian border. “We have been confronted with the entire spectrum of threats, from sniper fire to anti-tank missiles, as well as rockets in the city of Eilat,” said Lt. Col. Carmel.

Most recently, in September, a group of terrorists attempted to carry out a large-scale, cross-border attack. Although IDF (Zahal) forces prevented the planned attack from taking place, the incident took the life of Cpl. Netanel Yahalomi. “Because of the response of the forces, the incident ended quickly,” explained Lt. Col. Carmel. “One soldier was killed and one injured, but altogether the forces were well prepared, and they responded excellently, preventing an even worse outcome.”

During Lt. Col. Carmel’s term, the Edom Formation has rapidly strengthened and adjusted in response to the changing threats it faces. New and powerful units have been established, including the Rimon desert commando unit, the Eitam Field Intelligence Battalion, and regional brigades in the Arava desert and the Eilat area.

Lt. Col. Carmel stated that the Edom Formation is prepared to handle whatever threats it faces. “The forces in the field simulate all possible types of attack,” he said. “Our preparedness is always high.”

Lt. Col. Carmel also described the improvement in the situation on Highway 12, which runs through southwestern Israel near the border with Egypt. “Travel on Highway 12 is safe. The road is secured,” he said. “We use many forces and resources that help to secure the channel to civilians – the military does its utmost to enable the safe and quiet travel of civilians on this highway.”