In a move aimed at stemming the tide of Palestinian terrorists illegally entering Israeli communities, especially in areas of Jerusalem where there is lack of an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) presence, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot approved a plan to increase cooperation between local security officials and the IDF. The move is meant to improve communication and stop terror in its tracks.
“Though we are grateful that terror attacks in Israel decreased in 2017 from 2016, unfortunately, more Israelis were murdered,” noted Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA, an organization which provides for the welfare of Israel’s soldiers, to Breaking Israel News.
“Until terrorists stop their bombings, stabbings, car rammings and shooting of Israel’s soldiers and civilians, IDF soldiers must be supported in their efforts to protect those in the Holy Land.”
In an attempt to stop terror attacks before they happens, the IDF has already restructured its brigades and enhanced its cooperation with Jerusalem police units and authorities in nearby areas of Judea and Samaria. There will also be a joint-operations room set up to be used for all security authorities.
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis told military reporters that enhanced coordination with local police is a necessity due to the increase in the number of Palestinians from Judea and Samaria that have illegally penetrated areas in Israel lacking an IDF presence.
This new approach in cooperation between the IDF and local security officials was drafted by General Staff officers over the past few months and has included insights by former commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brig. Gen. Lior Carmeli and Binyamin Regional Brigade commander, Col. Yuval Guez. One of its key strategic aspects is a particular focus on areas of eastern Jerusalem which are located outside Israel’s security barrier.
In 2017, 20 Israelis were killed and 169 were wounded in a total of 99 terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria. In response, the IDF has increased its efforts, in coordination with the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and Border Police to shut down and confiscate workshops where illegal weapons are produced. In doing so, they have carried out numerous raids throughout Judea and Samaria that have significantly helped reduce the production of illegal explosive devices and other weapons to be used by terrorists.
An IDF counter-terrorism report on statistics from 2017 notes that 3,617 Palestinians were arrested, many of whom were found through intelligence monitoring of social media where a large number of suspects openly expressed their desire to commit terror attacks and inspire others to do so.
Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman also said that approximately 1,100 lone wolf attacks in 2017 were successfully stymied, significantly more than the 400 in 2016. Additionally, in 2017, 42 illegal weapons workshops were closed and 455 illegal weapons were seized throughout Judea and Samaria, a significant increase from the 170 illegal weapons seized in 2015.
“We continue to pray for the safety and welfare of all of our security personnel and Israel’s citizens,” said Grossman. “We thank and salute all those who put their own lives on the line in order to save the lives of others.”
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