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Israeli army to beef up Egyptian, Syrian borders with reservists


09:36, May 03, 2012

JERUSALEM, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Israeli army plans to call up thousands of reservists for rotating deployment along the increasingly tense and chaotic Egyptian and Syrian borders.

Several attacks out of the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula since last year's overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and the prospect of Syrians fleeing towards Israeli territory, have left Israeli military planners scrambling to allocate more personnel and hardware to better cover the borders.

A reservist support group leader told the Ma'ariv daily that plans to call up 22 battalions-worth of personnel for the second time in under three years made an already tough stint in khakis even tougher.

"We serve with the Home Front Command and received a call-up notice for 25 days on the western border," the individual said, adding that "we already served in the Jenin area (in the West Bank) two years ago, and I thought we wouldn't get called again until next year."

The so-called "Reserve Law," which was passed in parliament in 2009 following public pressure to ease the burden on the army's reserves forces, limits call-ups to a single operational stint within a three-year period, and a week-long training maneuver every year, excluding any emergency call-up. The law also capped reserve duty to age 40.

The Defense Ministry sought special approval from parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee to call up the battalions.

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