Security Measures for Jews in Territories

Following the unveiling of the long-awaited maps pertaining to the withdrawal from 13.1 percent of areas throughout Judea and Samaria (each percent is about 55 square kilometers), it is now known that no less than six Jewish communities will find themselves within a 500 meter (3/10 mile) proximity of areas under total PA control, namely area "A" [in accordance with the Oslo designation].

These communities remain the highest priority for Israeli commanders who are preparing a number of security measures to protect Jewish residents. For example, people whose windows face an area "A" community have been asked to permit the defense ministry to install bulletproof glass. These communities will also be outfitted with other security devices ranging from improved perimeter fences, closed circuit television to army installations, sophisticated alarm systems, preparations for installations to accommodate anti-tank weaponry and an increased supply of arms.

Twelve bypass roads are now under construction, and security officials are hopeful their completion will ensure the number of attacks against Israeli motorists will remain low as a result.

The roads include from the Samarian community of Eli to the Tapuach Junction area, thereby bypassing the villages of Luban Sharkiya, Issawiya, Kablan, Yutma and more. The motorists will no longer travel to Tapuach Junction and then onto the Trans-Samarian Highway, but cut through the now wilderness area straight to the junction, necessary to access the roads to the Tel-Aviv and Jordan Valley areas.

Some of the other roads include:

1) From Elon Moreh to the Jordan Valley area;
2) From Adam directly to the Mount Scopus area of Jerusalem;
3) From Telmon to the Givat Ze'ev area in northern Jerusalem;
4) From the Judean community of Tekoa (near Herodian) to Maale Adumim;
5) A new road in the Bet Lechem (Bethlehem) area.

One of the areas, which will be hardest hit by the IDF retreat, are the communities located in the southern Chevron Hills. These relatively small communities will become isolated islands, surrounded by areas "A".

According to the leaders of the communities of Otniel and Bet Chaggai, they are planning to takeover the IDF installation at Adurayim, which will be evacuated shortly. The community leaders explain this will be necessary to protect their homes from the possibility of attacks from surrounding areas "A".

Despite last-minute efforts by residents to secure more land and take steps to ensure their safe survival following the retreat, leaders of the Peace Now organization have already called upon the Defense Ministry to evict people who have illegally tried to establish new settlements, such as the residents of Kedumim.

Despite the reservations and fears of the leaders of Judea and Samaria communities, the defense minister and senior government officials insist their security needs will not be abandoned and they need not worry. This has not assuaged residents' concerns, particularly given the number of attacks (at least 27 they say) since September 1, 1998.

Source: IsraelWire, November 18, 1998.