REPORT: EU helping PA set up for Oct 7 assault on Judea and Samaria

REPORT: EU helping PA set up for Oct 7 assault on Judea and Samaria

The Regavim Movement released a report on Monday illustrating that the security concepts that enabled Hamas to carry out the October 7th massacre along Israel’s southern security fence 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 “separation barrier” – all within 1 kilometer (half a mile) of Israeli communities in the central and coastal plain regions.

Three months have passed since unspeakable atrocities were perpetrated on October 7th, when thousands of terrorists broke through the security barrier and infiltrated Israeli cities, villages, and kibbutzim in southern Israel. 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 in Israeli cities, the overtaking of IDF bases and Israel National Police stations, and the obliteration of entire communities in the Gaza Envelope.

Today (January 7th), the Regavim Movement published newly compiled data indicating that the very same dangers lurk just beyond the fences of Israeli communities along the “seamline” with Judea and Samaria.  

The Regavim report notes that the Israeli government built a 40-mile-long security barrier along its border with Gaza, costing the Israeli taxpayer an estimated NIS 3.5 billion. Then-Defense Minister Benny Gantz praised the barrier as “a technological and creative project of supreme importance, which takes away from Hamas one of the capabilities it tried to develop, and places an iron wall, sensors and concrete between [Hamas] and the residents of [Israel’s] south.”

Regavim notes that the barrier failed to prevent the murder of over 1,200 Israelis by Hamas on October 7 and the same motives that drove the Hamas assault in the south also exist in Judea and Samaria within the Palestinian Authority.

“Acts of terrorism that originate in Judea and Samaria are part of the mechanism established to implement the clearly enunciated policy initiative launched in 2009 by Salaam Fayyad, then Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority,” Regavim wrote. “The Fayyad Plan, as it is now known, is a framework for the Palestinian takeover of all of Judea and Samaria through a variety of means, among them massive illegal construction. In this way, and in tandem with Palestinian terrorism, over the years nearly 100,000 illegal structures have been built by the Palestinians in Area C, the portion of Judea and Samaria under full Israeli jurisdiction.”

In response, in 2002 the Israeli government began construction of a 300-kilometer barrier or “separation fence”at a cost of NIS 8.3 billion in an attempt to prevent terrorist incursions from Judea and Samaria from entering the center of Israel. Despite the threat, the Israeli government ignores illegal construction carried out by the PA, effectively annexing large swaths of the Biblical heartland.

“According to the State Comptroller’s Report of 2023, over time, and as a result of the reduction of forces in Judea and Samaria in recent years, the IDF’s ability to maintain the barrier was severely undermined, and Arabs sabotaged the fence to the point that many kilometers of the barrier have been completely demolished,” Regavm reported.

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 1948 armistice line (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 Palestinian Authority – for all intents and purposes “annexed” under the nose of Israel’s security and enforcement forces.  The massive construction documented by Regavim includes tens of thousands of residential and other structures, some of them located within IDF training grounds, some on archaeological sites and nature reserves. All of these illegal structures are adjacent to the “separation barrier,” in which the State of Israel invested billions of Shekels over years of construction.

Accompanying the full report, Regavim released a video clip explaining these findings and the larger context of the challenge to Israel’s security.

“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 7th 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. 

After the full report (accessible here) was published, Regavim’s spokesperson 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. 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 equals 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.”

Illegal Palestinian construction also endangers archaeological sites. The Forum for the Struggle for Every Dunam reported last week that Arabs vandalized an archaeological site in Israel’s biblical heartland that millions of Jews and Christians revere as the location where Joshua built an altar

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