IDF jeeps vulnerable to new explosive devices: report

The army ignored Israel Security Agency’s warnings that recent Iranian-supplied bombs can destroy the armored vehicles used nightly in anti-terror raids.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The IDF’s armored jeeps are apparently not as safe as soldiers may have assumed. The new Iranian bombs being used by Palestinian terrorists are more powerful than the ones locally manufactured in Judea and Samaria, Walla reported Monday.

Sources in Central Command told the Hebrew news site that the vehicles, which are used in anti-terror raids into Palestinian villages and cities, can be destroyed by these improvised explosive devices (IEDs), making them a deadly danger to the soldiers riding in them.

The sources said that the first time the IDF encountered the new weapon was in a June operation in the Jenin refugee camp, when a roadside bomb was detonated remotely right next to a bulletproof jeep, injuring six Israeli soldiers. One soldier was hurt, moderately to severely, and the source said that “the fighters were saved by a miracle.”

What made the incident especially serious was that Israel’s intelligence agency had warned the army about the latest Iranian “import,” but nothing was made of it.

“In retrospect, it became clear to us that the Shin Bet passed on intelligence information, but officials in the IDF’s operations branch did not attach any significant weight to it,” they said.

The IDF reported the confiscation of hundreds of IEDs in July’s brief Operation Home and Garden to root out terror infrastructure in Jenin but did not detail whether they were of local versus foreign manufacture. The army also destroyed over a kilometer and a half of roads in the city because it discovered that the terror groups had laid powerful bombs underneath the routes that they thought the IDF would use, the report said.

In a different foray soon afterwards, IDF engineers went into the Nur a-Shams Palestinian refugee camp specifically to destroy over 120 meters’ worth of road because similarly formidable devices had been placed underneath.

The current armored plating on IDF jeeps is only meant to resist bullets and weaker homemade bombs. According to the military sources, the Ground Forces command is now concerned that if its intelligence fails to find all the new explosives, the standard IDF jeeps could turn into death traps, especially if many are detonated at once.

On Sunday, the IDF allowed publication of a successful raid that foiled the smuggling of powerful explosive charges from Iran to Judea and Samaria via the Jordanian border.

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