|Hilltop youth [illustrative] 311 (R).(Photo by: REUTERS/Nir Elias)|
W. Bank: 3rd of IDF used against 'price-tag' attacks
By YAAKOV KATZ
Senior officer says move means less forces to prevent terrorism; Maj.- Gen. Mizrachi may come under 24-hour protection.
The IDF Central Command has allocated 30 percent of its forces deployed in the
West Bank for “price-tag” attack-related missions, the largest proportion in
years, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The missions vary for the forces:
Some are stationed along roads in the West Bank to prevent the stoning of
Palestinian vehicles, and others are stationed on the outskirts of Palestinian
villages, such as near the Yitzhar settlement, to prevent settler
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“This means we have fewer forces to prevent terrorism,” a
senior officer said on Thursday. “When a battalion commander needs to
come to a road and disperse Jews who are throwing stones at Palestinian cars, it
means he is not able to carry out his main mission, which is to defend
Since the attack against the Efraim Regional Brigade
headquarters on Monday night, during which several dozen farright activists and
settlers stormed the base and attacked soldiers, the IDF established a special
rapid-response force whose job will be to protect bases and disperse
In addition, the Post has learned that due to concern about
possible attacks from settlers, security authorities in the IDF have recommended
that OC Central Command Maj.- Gen. Avi Mizrachi come under 24-hour protection by
military security guards.
On Thursday, the words “Nazi” and “price tag”
were found spray-painted on concrete blocks at the Tapuah Junction and next to
an IDF position. In addition, a mosque in the Palestinian village of Burka was
vandalized with the words “Mitzpe Yitzhar” and “war” just hours after security
forces evacuated the illegal outpost near Yitzhar.
Senior IDF officers
said Thursday that the military would be on high alert throughout the West Bank
over the weekend to prevent clashes between settlers and
Known hotspots, such as the areas near Yitzhar, the Itamar
settlement and other places, will see an increase in troops aimed at preventing
In addition to tactical changes on the ground, the IDF is
working with the Israel Police’s Judea and Samaria District to identify the
source of funding for the so-called hilltop youth, who are believed to be the
predominate force behind the pricetag attacks.
Following the spate of
violence on Monday, which also included the crossing of the Jordanian-Israeli
border fence, the IDF has begun implementing a number of measures to deter and
Under consideration, for example, is a possible ban on
suspected extremists from residing in the West Bank. Such orders are issued by
Mizrachi, who is the supreme military commander in the territories.
week, Mizrachi extended four orders that had been issued over the summer for
activists who were removed amid fears that clashes would break out with
Palestinians over the PA’s unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations.