‘Who will protect us?’ IDF reduces reservists in north

Head of local council warns that residents of northern Israel may “pay a heavy price” for move to reduce reservists’ presence in their communities.

By World Israel News Staff

Residents of northern Israeli communities expressed outrage after the Israeli army reduced the number of reservists dedicated to protecting residents, without advance warning or consulting with local leaders.

All communities within 5 kilometers of the Lebanese border were evacuated days after the October 7th massacres, displacing some 100,000 Israelis who still have not returned home.

However, tens of thousands remain in their homes located slightly further away from the border, and live under constant threat from Hezbollah missiles and rockets.

The IDF originally dedicated a number of reservists to provide reinforcements to those communities’ emergency response groups, which include armed residents of those villages and towns.

But according to some members of the first-response squads, the IDF is no longer willing to station reservists in their communities to provide additional protection in the event of a terror infiltration.

Giora Zaltz, head of the Upper Galilee Regional Council, told Ynet that considering the non-stop rocket fire from Hezbollah, “this is the time” to “increase security, not harm it.”

He warned that the move to scale back the presence of reservists is a “big mistake, when once again the army acts without [engaging in] dialogue with the heads of the [local] authorities, but makes decisions for which we may pay a heavy price.”

Army sources told Ynet that the decision was a cost-saving measure, as the military needs to reimburse reservists’ workplaces for the time they spend away from their jobs.

If Israel is gearing up for a larger-scale conflict with Hezbollah, reservists would likely play a large role in a ground invasion of Lebanon.

Additionally, the source claimed that the IDF had pushed back Hezbollah forces far enough away from the border that the threat of a terror infiltration is now unlikely.

Tzachi Eliyahu, a resident of the Western Galilee moshav Ein Ya’akov, some eight kilometers from the Lebanese border, told Ynet that he did not believe that army assessment.

“In eight minutes, [Hezbollah commando forces] Radwan can be here,” he said. “They could be here in seconds if they use paragliders.

“Who will be here to protect us, and the 150 children in daycare centers and kindergartens in our moshav?”