Report: October’s System Failures in Gaza Still Persist in Judea and Samaria

A man standing near a hole in the security fence near Kfar Ezion, in Judea, October 2, 2022.

Source: Jewish Press, By David Israel, January 8, 2024

The entire country of Israel, with a few noted exceptions, was led down the path of false promises of security between the expulsion from Gush Katif in 2005 and the murders in 2023 of the very kibbutz members who supported the expulsion. It was a hard lesson on the need for vigilance, as well as on the sad fact that for the foreseeable future, Israelis will have to continue fighting for their lives as their neighbors in the immediate surrounding Arab countries will refuse to accept them.

Now, it appears that the hard lessons have yet to be integrated, and another October 7 massacre is waiting to erupt. They fooled us in 2023, will they fool us again in 2024?

Three months have passed since the unspeakable atrocities of October 7, when thousands of terrorists broke through the IDF security barrier and infiltrated Israeli cities, villages, and kibbutzim. The multi-pronged attack included infiltration by land, sea, and air, alongside a massive rocket attack on a huge swath of Israeli territory, resulting in the murder of some 1200 civilians, and the kidnapping of some 250 more. The attack saw unprecedented, intense combat inside Israeli cities, the overtaking of IDF bases and Police stations, and the obliteration of entire communities in the Gaza Envelope.

The Regavim Movement on Sunday released a report illustrating that the security concepts that enabled Hamas to carry out the October 7 massacre are alive and well along the security barrier of Judea and Samaria. With the support of the European Union, the Palestinian Authority has built tens of thousands of illegal structures along the barrier, all within a half mile from Green Line Israeli communities such as Kfar Saba, Hadera, and Afula.

The Israel Envelope, 2023 / Regavim

Regavim’s research spotlights the recent surge of illegal construction carried out by the Palestinian Authority with European Union support and funding in the buffer zone along the Green Line. The thin strip of land set aside as a sterile zone, free of Arab encroachment, has been erased in recent months by the PA. For all intents and purposes, it has been annexed under the nose of Israel’s security apparatus. The massive construction documented by Regavim includes tens of thousands of residential and other structures, some of them located inside IDF training grounds, some on archaeological sites and nature reserves. All of these illegal structures are adjacent to the separation barrier, erected with billions of Shekels of taxpayers’ money.

“The cluster of illegal structures you see near the Palestinian village of Ramadin in the southern Hebron region, for example, illustrates the proximity to Israeli communities – in this case, Sansana, Carmit, and Meitar. These structures tell the story of the ongoing breakdown of Israel’s security apparatus, the lessons of October 7 that haven’t been learned,” said Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim.

“The area that was supposed to serve as a security buffer zone has been completely abandoned by Israel and has been overrun by the Palestinian Authority – only a few meters away from the security barrier, which took years of work and billions of Shekels to build. This is precisely what we saw along the Gaza border,” Deutsch added.

“The concept of defensive barriers has come crashing down – and every Israeli should be seeing the warning lights and hearing the warning bells sounding in the buffer zone along the separation barrier with Judea and Samaria,” said a Regavim spokesperson. “The illegal structures that are filling up the ‘sterile zone’ can become launching pads for a massive terrorist attack at any given moment. Abandoning territory means abandoning security. This situation cannot be allowed to exist in the heart of Israel. The operational failure of our security apparatus is endangering every man, woman, and child in Israel.”

Download the Regavim report.