IDF readies gestures to minimize violence after UN bid

List includes a reduction in IDF operations inside Palestinian cities and towns in territory defined as Area A, construction permits in Area C.

September 20, 2011 02:54
2 minute read.
Border policemen near Ramallah

Border policemen near Ramallah_311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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The IDF has prepared a list of goodwill gestures that it can potentially offer the Palestinian Authority following its planned declaration of statehood at the United Nations later this week, aimed at decreasing the chance for an outbreak of violence, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The list includes a reduction in IDF operations inside Palestinian cities and towns in territory defined as Area A, which is under full Palestinian control. The IDF has instituted this measure in the past during sensitive diplomatic periods.

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Such operations will be carried out only to prevent imminent terrorist attacks that are in motion, with the understanding that Israeli incursions into Area A embarrass PA security forces and undermine their authority in the eyes of the Palestinian people.

Other gestures include permits for construction projects in Area C, which is territory in the West Bank under Israeli military and civil control, and possible moves to improve freedom of movement in the West Bank.

The PA has, for example, prepared 20 different projects on land in Area C that it is planning to move forward with following its unilateral declaration of statehood at the UN later this week.

The IDF Central Command is on high alert amid concerns that large-scale demonstrations will break out, and it has significantly beefed up its forces in the West Bank.

The Central Command has prepared an individual-security program for all of the settlements in the West Bank, which it fears could be marched on by Palestinian demonstrators.

At the same time, though, the IDF does not identify motivation among the Palestinian public to resort to violence following the UN move and believes that the month of September will pass quietly.

The challenge will possibly come several weeks later, after the Palestinian public realizes that the PA did not achieve independence at the UN. Palestinians might then rise up to violently protest against Israel.

In order to minimize violence, the IDF has set up a joint team with PA security forces which meets on a weekly basis and is meant to coordinate various steps taken by each side to prevent a violent escalation.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad have both come out against the use of violence and the IDF believes that Palestinian security forces will take action to stop a major escalation.

Meanwhile Monday, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said that the IDF was prepared for the upcoming challenges Israel faces in the Middle East.

“The ramifications of the earthquake that struck our region can already be felt on several different fronts, and it is possible that the IDF and the State of Israel are facing a complicated period full of new challenges,” Gantz said during a ceremony to commemorate the Kfir Brigade’s fallen soldiers.

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