“Even if we manage to go down from 25,000 [fence-jumers] to 400, it’s not enough, because every one of the 400 could be a terrorist.”
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
New IDF procedures and massive human and technological reinforcement are currently being put into place to stop Palestinians from illegally crossing the security fence and carrying out terror attacks such as last week’s deadly assault in Elad by Jenin residents.
The government has budgeted some NIS 300 million for the undertaking so far.
Whole sections of the wire and concrete blockade are being rebuilt. Advanced sensors and even radar are being installed to gather intelligence on efforts to damage it or slip through, warning troops in real-time where to go to catch the criminals in the act.
In addition, a video provided by the IDF shows a wide dirt road running for kilometers along the fence to allow quick access and a clear view of the seam line.
These additions are crucial, since according to a military source in a Walla report Monday, the Palestinians operate a whole system of observers, fence saboteurs and shuttle drivers on both sides of the border who work quickly together to bring people across.
“If my vigilance drops for 20-30 seconds, a saboteur will manage to transfer illegal residents [through the fence],” the source said.
Manpower has also been added in massive numbers. Some 10 battalions, each consisting of up to 1,000 soldiers, are now patrolling the line on foot and in jeeps through observation posts and ambushes.
Although this number is supposed to be reduced in coming weeks to six reservist battalions, Operations Directorate head Gen. Oded Basiuk said that the IDF is creating a new “seam consciousness” and sending a message to the Palestinians that they will no longer be allowed to destroy the fence and cross it at will.
Part of the message will come through the new orders that have been given to deal with the phenomenon. Soldiers can now use riot-dispersal means to stop Palestinians from gathering near the fence to await transportation to their illegal jobs. If caught crossing, they are arrested and transferred to a new holding facility.
This is the first of several promised facilities throughout Judea and Samaria, where suspects can be detained for up to 12 hours instead of the hour and a half that was customary until now. This allows for a more thorough background check to be performed to ensure that the person is only seeking to work, not to carry out a terror attack.
The troops are also now allowed to open fire on those trying to destroy the fence or cross it if they do not stop when ordered to do so.
While the source said that the army is “making it clear to everyone that we have changed the way we work,” he also said that efforts along the line must be complemented by constant IDF and police operations against those employing, accommodating and driving the illegal Palestinian workers.
“Even if we manage to go down from 25,000 [fence-jumpers] to 400, it’s not enough,” he said, “because every one of the 400 could be a terrorist.”