Lack of equipment endangers security in Judea and Samaria, northern border

Additional and better communications equipment needed to protect villages in Israel. (Illustrative/(Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Additional and upgraded radios are the most immediate requirement, especially with an average of one infiltration a week in Judea and Samaria.  

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Towns and villages throughout Judea, Samaria and the northern border are in danger due to known security deficits that have yet to be corrected, the State Comptroller said in a report published Tuesday.

One of the most crucial needs the report noted is to supply residents with more – and better – communications equipment.

There has been an average of about one Palestinian terrorist infiltration a week (144 in total) into villages in Judea and Samaria between January 2019 and September 2021.

There have also been several well-covered cases in recent years of border-jumpers from Lebanon and even Syria found in nearby Jewish towns. While most of them seemingly had no nefarious purpose in mind, Hezbollah has boasted of training special forces to infiltrate Israeli border towns and carry out attacks.

It is a given that local security coordinators must be able to talk immediately, constantly and securely with medical personnel and security forces in their area, who are usually the first responders in such emergency situations.

The report stated that half of the coordinators have difficulty communicating with the IDF and with the emergency services, including the Israel Police, through their current means of communication.

While the Home Front Command had pledged to distribute military radios to all Judea and Samaria localities, it has not completed the task. Yet these radios aren’t the perfect answer, the report said, due to the physical limitations of these devices and the spotty reception in various areas.

Meanwhile, the state of communications between local security units in the villages on the northern border and the IDF was described as only “very partial.” Unlike in Judea and Samaria, the situation there has even deteriorated since the last audit in 2018.

The lack of proper communication devices could very well endanger the lives of any number of the 900,000 residents who live in 399 villages and towns in the noted areas, the report stated.

Such communication gaps “may constitute a serious operational failure in the defense system of these communities,” said the report, adding that “a proper alternative” must be found so that residents can count on “an immediate response” when a security incident arises without prior warning.

The State Comptroller recommended that the Defense and Internal Security Ministries establish an operating concept as well as a central body that would be responsible for improving and streamlining communication among the emergency response forces in order to provide proper protection for all the towns and villages.

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