National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir announced Tuesday that a new police unit will be established in the Judea and Samaria (West Bank) district. The unit, expected to consist of tens of officers and commence operations in early 2024, will monitor and prevent arms smuggling attempts at the Israel-Jordan border and will likely be named the Jordanian Border Unit.
"We must seal off our borders, especially the one with Jordan, from which illegal firearms are smuggled into Israel," according to Ben-Gvir. This challenge has become one of the major concerns for law enforcement in Israel in recent years as the number of smuggled firearms has been steadily increasing.
According to the Israel Police’s intelligence division, most of the firearms are smuggled into Israel through the Jordanian border, which remains degraded and neglected.
Planning ahead of the new unit’s establishment has already begun, including the allocation of the required funding. The unit's designated mission will be to gather intelligence for the purpose of preventing smuggling attempts within the district.
The unit will gather information through human intelligence (HUMINT), visual intelligence (VISINT), as well as cyber and signal intelligence (SIGINT). Using advanced technological means will form the necessary situational awareness required to prevent smuggling attempts into Israel.
The new unit will work in collaboration with other police units, including those operating on the Egyptian, Jordanian and Lebanese borders. Additionally, it will likely cooperate with the IDF and the Shin Bet to maximize intelligence gathering and characterize the activity patterns of these smuggling networks.
"This will mark the addition of a specialized, integral unit that will combat arms smuggling and greatly contribute to strengthening of Israel's security and sovereignty on its eastern border. After years of neglect, we’re promoting and taking steps in line with the uncompromising policy I lead against criminal organizations and terror," Ben-Gvir added.