Settlement security not improved since massacre

IDF yet to implement security upgrades in settlements a year after the Fogel family was murdered by terrorists in Itamar.

IDF soldeirs patrols Syrian border 311 R (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
IDF soldeirs patrols Syrian border 311 R
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Almost a year after five family members were murdered by terrorists in Itamar, the Defense Ministry and IDF have yet to implement a plan aimed at revamping and upgrading settlement security measures.
The plan – drafted by the army’s Central Command and expected to cost around NIS 500 million – was put together following the Palestinian infiltration of the Itamar settlement near Nablus on March 11, 2011, and the murders in their home of Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their children.
RELATED:IAF strikes Gaza terrorists after mortar attackIDF arrests 3 PA policemen for throwing stonesFollowing the attack, officers from the Central Command visited all of the settlements in the West Bank and produced a “security suite” for each one. The plan was also supposed to include unauthorized West Bank outposts.
Despite drafting the plan and marketing it with great fanfare, a budget for its implementation has yet to be allocated.
In addition to physical barriers, the IDF also uses advanced radar and camera systems to secure settlements.
“No money was allocated last year or this year,” a senior IDF officer said last week.
“The situation is becoming dangerous.”
Concern is not limited though to the IDF. Fears are also rising within settlements, which are experiencing an upsurge in criminal infiltrations.
Eleven homes in Eli, for example, were broken into over a single weekend last month and other settlements, such as Halamish, are without a fence.
Defense officials said the plan was still under review but was the victim of budget cuts and the reduction in the defense budget. Money for settlement protection is supposed to come from the IDF Home Front Command, which is responsible for erecting fences and installing radar systems.