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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

IDF: No longer necessary to place guards in border towns, Judea and Samaria

In what is being billed as an operational decision, and not a budgetary one, the IDF is to stop posting soldiers at towns along the Gaza, Lebanon and Syria borders.
In the past, the IDF’s Southern Command placed soldiers at the entrance to nine towns and villages near the Gaza and Egypt borders, while the Northern Command secured 13 frontier communities in this way.
Evaluations carried out at IDF headquarters concluded that enhanced border security measures, such as electronic sensors, patrols and lookout posts, combined with additional components, meant that the practice of placing soldiers inside the communities is no longer necessary.
“We know where the threats come from, what routes threats could take, and we understand these measures are no longer needed,” the source said. “The need to defend communities from the inside seems less relevant,” he stated. Operational considerations rather than budgetary constraints lay behind the move, he added.
But if this is really an operational decision, how do you explain this?
But Shlomo Vaknin, in charge of security for the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria said that 20 West Bank settlements would also be impacted by the new security arrangements.
The IDF has notified these settlements that 17 soldiers will be removed from their security details by October 1, and that anywhere from 23 to 33 soldiers will be taken off the details as of January 1, Vaknin said.
Soldiers will continue to guard the settlements, he said, but the number in each settlement will now be reduced. He added that the move harms smaller settlements that have less resources to make up the gap. Although the settlements could sustain the cuts, Vaknin said, he was concerned by the implications of the move, fearing they could lead to further cutbacks.
Council spokesman Yigal Delmonti noted that 33 soldiers had already been cut from security details in settlements in Judea and Samaria a few months ago.
These communities are under threat of infiltration, Delmonti said, and past experience has shown that such infiltration can have tragic results.
The area around settlements in Judea and Samaria is not secured by the same physical and technological barriers as are border communities and, as a result, they are more reliant on IDF security details, he said.
This is a disaster waiting to happen, R"L (God save us).

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