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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Judea and Samaria: No perfect answers

Captain Barak Raz is finishing up his tour of duty on Sunday as the IDF Spokesperson for Judea and Samaria. On Friday, he posted this blog summing up his two years on the job.
This incident reinforced something that I always try to explain: the threat is real. The lack of “successful” terror attacks from the West Bank in recent years should never be confused with a lack of motivation or desire on the part of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or the dozens of other organizations that work tirelessly in order to reestablish themselves in the region. The relative calm and security stability that exists in the West Bank today has by and large resulted from an ongoing security effort headed by the IDF.
This security effort has two main aspects – ongoing routine security operations (which include the security fence, crossings, and riot containment) and ongoing counterterrorism operations (which include arrests and intelligence gathering and analysis). By combining these two aspects, the IDF conducts a comprehensive effort in the face of the many security threats and challenges.
For the past two years, all I have done, night and day was live, sleep, eat and breathe the various dilemmas the IDF faces when conducting an ongoing security effort in this volatile region. While many have grown accustomed the current situation, we mustn’t kid ourselves – the violent currents are strong and they are just beneath the surface. The hard-won security stability is the product of over a decade of effective counterterrorism and routine security operations; and it can all vanish in an instant.
This is why IDF commanders constantly assess and reassess the situation while considering a plethora of factors – from terrorism and rioting, through law and public order, to issues of quality of life and economics. Our assessments include evaluations of our own actions. On the one hand, we understand the risk of doing “too little”, while on the other we understand that by doing “too much”; we could possibly undermine that same stability we aim to create and preserve.
Read the whole thing.

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