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Israel Calls Up Reserve Battalions Over Egypt, Syria Border Threats

The Israel Defense Forces have issued emergency orders calling up six reserve battalions to the Egyptian and Syrian borders and could summon an additional 16 if necessary, the Times of Israel reported Wednesday.

Commanders said security threats prompted the move, Arutz Sheva reported. The order could put between 2,000 and 6,000 additional troops on the borders, according to Fox News.

Under Israeli law, reservists may only be called for active duty once every three years -- anything more requires special permission from Israel's Knesset, according to the Times. The foreign affairs and defense committee approved the request "recently."

“This signifies that the IDF regards the Egyptian and Syrian borders as the potential source of a greater threat than in the past,” former IDF deputy chief of staff Dan Harel said Wednesday, according to the Times.

Harel cited the growing terror threat in the Sinai and Egypt's "deteriorating control" over the area, including a surge in weapons smuggling.

(Related: Egypt Sending in Troops to Secure Sinai Peninsula After Rocket Attack on Israeli City)

The ongoing violence in Syria, Harel said, "could explode at any moment…and pose a direct challenge to us.”

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