‘No surprise, no secret’ – Galilee residents say they repeatedly warned IDF about porous border fence

After terrorist infiltration and bombings, local politician warns of vulnerabilities to Israel’s security fence on Lebanon border.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Residents of northern Israeli communities adjacent to the border with Lebanon said that they’ve repeatedly warned the military and government about the ease with which infiltrators can cross into Israel.

They told Hebrew language outlet Walla News that they were “not surprised” by a recent terror bombing committed by a Lebanese national who slipped into Israel territory undetected.

“The fact that the border has been breached is old news as far as we are concerned, we have been warning about this danger for years, [informing] both the security authorities and the public,” Moshe Davidovitch, a local politician, told Walla News.

The porous northern border “is not a secret. On the contrary, it has already become a well-known fact as far as we are concerned,” Davidovitch added. “We feel it every day that we live here.”

Davidovitch stressed that residents of northern communities have “warned time and time again that our localities are vulnerable to infiltration.”

He said that in recent years, “migrant workers easily entered [Israel from Lebanon] and roamed, unhindered, throughout the area until soldiers or civilians caught them.”

The fact that these people were able to infiltrate into Israel “served as an indication for us that the border can be crossed without detection even by an unskilled and untrained person,” he said.

Sharon Zaguri, who owns a pizza restaurant in the town of Shlomi, which is adjacent to the border, said that the terror infiltration earlier this week “was not a surprise.”

Zaguri told Walla News that “there are dead spots along the border, and we have been warning about this since the [2006 kidnapping of soldier Ehud] Goldwasser and the Second Lebanon War.”

Promises from IDF officials that “these areas would be manned by soldiers until electronic systems were installed” were not honored, Zaguri added.

He added that he was frustrated by the military censorship regarding the incident, which saw a media blackout on reporting the details of the infiltration and subsequent bombing.

“The lack of updates led to excessive panic,” Zaguri said.

“We received zero information and there was a lot of worry. There were drones all day and all night, without us understanding why, and then [a sudden influx of] security forces…It was unbearable the length of time they hid information from us.”