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Photo: Gili Cohen Magen
Psagot in early days of intifada
Photo: Gili Cohen Magen
IDF to stop securing Psagot settlement
Next week will see removal of reserves company stationed between Ramallah, West Bank settlement, leaving residents to deal with Palestinian neighbors on their own. Psagot residents furious, say Defense Minister Ehud Barak abandoned them

Residents of the settlement of Psagot have been living in relative calm for years now. In the early years of the al-Aqsa intifada, the community, which is located next to Ramallah, suffered from attacks from Palestinians living in the area. In order to restore peace to the area, the IDF decided to station a company of reserves soldiers to secure the community.

 

Psagot residents now fear deterioration in the security situation in their community, following an announcement by Binyamin Division Commander Colonel Aviv Reshef, that the company would leave the site in a week's time, without having any other body take its place.

 

Mateh Binyamin Regional Council security officer Avigdor Shatz told Ynet the move constitutes a real threat to the lives of the residents. "The meaning of such a move is that a community which is located at a very serious point of friction with the hostile Palestinian population of Ramallah is left without a significant military force meant to separate between it and the residents of the settlement. Despite the relative calm of recent years, shooting incidents at the town are recorded each day."

 

The residents of the community were enraged by the decision and claim they are being picked on by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. "While he finds a budget to pay for inspectors to enforce the construction freeze in settlements, he can't find the money to preserve the safety of the residents and is abandoning us," a Psagot source said.

 

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the removal of the reserves company from its station in Psagot was decided on in accordance with a situation evaluation. "Forces are being moved from one area to another as part of a change in the approach towards the force's operation in the West Bank," an IDF statement said.

 

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