Bennett instructs IDF to prepare for immediate escalation

Additional troops said to come from Golani Brigade’s elite Reconnaissance Battalion over concerns violence will break out

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett meets with IDF officials on January 28, 2020 (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett meets with IDF officials on January 28, 2020
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
The IDF will reinforce troops in the Jordan Valley with an additional infantry brigade, following a situational assessment ahead of the revealing of US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” plan.
The additional troops reportedly will come from the Golani Brigade’s elite Reconnaissance Battalion over concerns that violence will break out in the area.
The decision was made following a special in-the-field situational assessment of the West Bank by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nadav Padan, OC Judea and Samaria Brigade Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Elalouf and other senior commanders.
“The State of Israel is facing crucial days of establishing its permanent borders and applying sovereignty to Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria,” Bennett said, adding that he has heard threats from the Palestinian side against the plan.
“The IDF and the forces in the field are prepared for every scenario,” he said. “We are facing crucial days of setting boundaries and applying sovereignty... [and] threats from the Palestinian side will not deter us.”
Bennett said he has instructed troops to prepare for an immediate escalation of violence following release of the plan, as well as for riots in the absence of security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.
PA officials have hinted that the Palestinian leadership might stop security coordination with Israel in the West Bank.
Security cooperation and coordination between Israel and the PA began with the Oslo Accords signed in 1993. Both sides see the security cooperation as a critical aspect to maintaining stability in the West Bank.
The IDF increased its alert level earlier this week ahead of the release of the plan.
An official statement released by PA President Mahmoud Abbas has warned of “serious consequences” for the whole region if Trump’s plan goes against the “sovereignty or identity” of the Palestinian people.
Abbas has reportedly told his security forces not to stop the public from protests or confrontations with Israeli troops in the West Bank during the “Day of Rage” set for Wednesday.
One of the main protests planned against the US plan is expected to take place in the northern Jordan Valley. Several others are planned in other areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
On Sunday, Army Radio reported that the military deployed six battalions as well as attached combat battalions to every regional brigade able to respond to attacks and violent riots. Kochavi also canceled a symposium on operational and combat systems upgrades that was to have been attended by all IDF brigadier generals.