Oct. 7-style invasion could happen in Judea & Samaria, warns report

Report warns that illegal Palestinian construction encroaching on Jewish communities could be used as springboard for October 7-style invasion.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Three months to the day after Hamas fighters broke through the Gazan security fence in over two dozen places and massacred 1,200 people, sparking the current war, an Israeli NGO published a report saying that the same danger faces the residents of Judea and Samaria due to massive illegal Palestinian construction all along its own seamline.

The Regavim Movement has documented 16,866 structures within a single kilometer of the separation barrier, on land that was ostensibly “set aside as a sterile zone, free of Arab encroachment,” it said. Nearly 19,000 more illegal structures are within a four-kilometer radius.

“These structures tell the story of the ongoing breakdown of Israel’s security apparatus, the lessons of October 7th that haven’t been learned,” said Regavim head Meir Deutsch. “The area that was supposed to serve as a security buffer zone has been completely abandoned by Israel, and has been overrun by the Palestinian Authority (PA) – only a few meters away from the security barrier, which took years of work and billions of shekels to build.”

“This is precisely what we saw along the Gaza border,” Deutsch added, referring in part to the IDF’s allowance of huge riots of Gazans right at the fence, which was supposed to be a no-man’s land as a security precaution. They served as a cover for numerous infiltration attempts, some of which were temporarily successful.

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A similar failure, said the group, was the government’s inaction against kite and balloon fliers who launched hundreds of airborne arson attacks from right over the border that set thousands of acres of fields and forests aflame in Israel in recent years.

“This tolerance” of the “erosion of the buffer zone,” was what enabled the terrorists to prepare for their systematic slaughter of October 7, and the same thing is happening in Judea and Samaria, Regavim warned.

The unlawful Palestinian structures, which include homes built even within IDF training grounds, “can become launching pads for a massive terrorist attack at any given moment,” said the group’s spokesperson after the report’s release Sunday. “Every Israeli should be seeing the warning lights and hearing the warning bells.”

Calling it “the systematic failure of January 7,” the group charged that the government was now repeating the “massive operational failure of Israel’s defense system” in Gaza.

“Abandoning territory equals abandoning security,” the spokesperson said, “and it is exactly what we’re seeing here.” Even Israeli leaders Yitzchak Rabin and Shimon Peres, who signed the “disastrous” Oslo Accords, she added, “insisted on preserving this buffer zone under full Israeli control, because they understood that abandoning this strip of land means abandoning the Israeli communities along the seamline.”

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“This situation cannot be allowed to exist in the heart of Israel,” she said. “The operational failure of our security apparatus is endangering every man, woman and child” in the country.

Regavim has been sounding the warning for years about the Palestinian land grabs in Area C of Judea and Samaria, which is ostensibly under total Israeli security and civilian control, for the purpose of establishing “facts on the ground” to expand its hoped-for state.  While a clear violation of the Oslo Accords, many of the over 85,000 structures, the NGO has also repeatedly noted, have been “built with European Union support and funding.”