IDF proposes that security in settlements be beefed up

Proposal drafted following Itamar terror attack would cost NIS 1 billion over coming year; Peace Now says plan is proof PM not interested in real peace.

May 18, 2011 02:00
1 minute read.
Itamar settlement in the West Bank

Itamar 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are mulling an IDF plan to revamp settlement security measures at the cost of NIS 1 billion over the coming year.

The plan – drafted by the IDF’s Central Command – was put together following the Palestinian infiltration of the settlement of Itamar on March 11 and the murder of Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their children.

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Following the murders, officers from the Central Command visited all of the settlements in the West Bank and produced a “security suite” for each individual settlement.

The plan also includes illegal outposts located in the West Bank.

The Central Command recently updated the work regulations between government-hired settlement security guards and the IDF to prevent incidents of miscommunication.

A military probe of the Itamar attack showed that the electronic fence around the settlement had sent an alert to civilian security guards stationed there after the fence was touched by the terrorists, but that the information was not passed on to the IDF company deployed nearby.

“We reviewed each settlement and searched for the weak points and ways to fill them,” one defense official said.

In addition to physical barriers, the IDF also uses advanced radars and camera systems to secure settlements.

The plan is currently under evaluation by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Defense Ministry and the Treasury, which will need to allocate a special budget to implement it.

Yariv Oppenheimer, general secretary of Peace Now, said the plan was further proof that Netanyahu was not interested in making real peace with the Palestinians.

“Settlers are already the most protected population in the State of Israel,” Oppenheimer said. “These plans prove that instead of taking a brave decision to evacuate even just the outposts, Netanyahu is willing to invest millions in places that will not be able to remain part of the State of Israel.”

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