IDF unit twice received order to enter Gaza before being told to stand down
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IDF unit twice received order to enter Gaza before being told to stand down

Infantry troops say they got as far as opening the border gates; 'it's like crying wolf,' one soldier says

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israeli soldiers preparing their tanks along the Israel-Gaza border on the third day of Operation Pillar of Defense, November 16, 2012. (photo credit: Uri Lenz/ Flash90)
Israeli soldiers preparing their tanks along the Israel-Gaza border on the third day of Operation Pillar of Defense, November 16, 2012. (photo credit: Uri Lenz/ Flash90)

A group of infantry troops stationed on the Gaza border during Operation Pillar of Defense was twice given the order to enter the Strip, but was called back at the last moment in both instances, Maariv reported on Thursday.

The report cited soldiers in the Nahal Brigade who said that on Monday night they were told to move into the Hamas-controlled enclave, and had even gotten as far as opening the border gates, when a counter-order was issued, halting the incursion for a further 24 hours.

“Since Saturday we were twice ordered to gear up and told that we are going in, and then we were called back to Israel,” one of the soldiers said, adding that the tension was almost unbearable.

“It’s like crying ‘wolf,'” he said. “After a few of those you no longer believe it. They have to decide already — will they send us in or release us?”

The 60,000 reserve troops massed around Gaza are to be sent home over the coming days if the ceasefire announced Wednesday night holds up.

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