Palestinians all set for UN bid
Photo: AFP
Aerial photography balloons
Photo: Eli Mendelbaum

Stage set: IDF, PA brace for possible West Bank clashes

IDF, Palestinian security forces prepare for possible West Bank protests, marches and clashes in wake of UN statehood bid

Israel's security forces are on high alert ahead of Friday's Palestinian statehood bid in the UN and are preparing for all scenarios: Aerial photography balloons, helicopters dropping stink bombs and teams that will upload videos to Facebook – these are just some of the measures taken by the IDF in preparation of the possible aftermath of the bid.


While armed forces and intelligence assessments suggest that UN bid will go ahead with relative calm, the IDF is taking no chances.


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The IDF's readiness and state of alertness for clashes with massive Palestinian crowds, should they present themselves, is at its peak: The number of troops in the West Bank has received a major boost of three regiments and plans for the swift mobilization of a 14 additionl regiments are in place, in order to reinforce the troops already in place.


Furthermore, standby reserve companies have been called in to serve in Israeli towns adjacent to Palestinian towns and cities. These companies were trained to carry out their missions while avoiding the use of live ammunition, including rubber bullets, at all costs.


  • For full coverage of the PA's statehood bid click here  


The IDF Central Command has prepared a plan of action for the defense of each of the towns should Palestinian protestors choose to march on the towns during a mass protest.


The plans will be implemented in stages in order to identify Palestinian attempts to get near Israeli towns in advance, and gradually disperse the demonstration in a way that will prevent the protests from reaching the towns.

יש תוכנית לגייס בתוך יום 14 גדודים (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

Will the Palestinians take to the streets? (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)


In addition to preparations in the field, arrangements have also been made to handle the media aspect of the events in order to present the Israeli version of events with all possible speed. This will be done by using social network platforms like Twitter and Facebook and the uploading of footage and news segments within 15 to 20 minutes of the events themselves.


One assessment is that the IDF will be able to prevent future and long term escalation on the Palestinian street if it takes steps to improve the atmosphere and induce calm.


These steps could include IDF avoidance of area A, which is under Palestinian control, for the purpose of carrying out arrests. Central Command has already issued an order whereby entrance to area A for the purpose of arrests will only be done in order to neutralize a terror threat or a "ticking bomb".


Moreover, the steps include awarding construction permits to Palestinians in Area C and additional perks and freedom of movement for Palestinians in the West Bank.


The most recent assessment of the situation that sees relative calm reigning in the West Bank is based on three facts: One, that Mahmoud Abbas gave an unequivocal directive to Palestinian security officials to prevent clashes between Palestinians who take to the streets as a result of the UN events, and Israeli forces.


In addition, the IDF Central Command has established a joint IDF-Palestinian security team. The team is supposed to coordinate security forces activities between the two sides if the need arises.


Secondly, all signs point to a lack of motivation on the Palestinian street to clash with Israeli security forces and settlers. The Palestinian state of mind, and intelligence gathered from online social networks, fails to indicate any intention to carry out mass demonstrations outside of Palestinian towns and villages.


Thirdly, the deterrence among the Palestinians that comes as a result of the Central Command's forthright preparations for successfully dealing with major mass protests without leading to casualties.


There is no way to know how effective the deterrence factor is, but there is no doubt that it is influential and inspires a sense of security among the Jewish settlers in the west Bank.


The confidence in knowing that the IDF will know how to handle threats made towards West Bank settlements will prevent rash action from the settlers if the Palestinian protests do go beyond the Palestinian towns and villages.




פרסום ראשון: 09.19.11, 21:27
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