The IDF has stepped up its planned deployment of thousands of cameras in sensitive areas of Judea and Samaria, completing a project launched last year, Ha’aretz reported Monday.
So far, according to the report, the army has deployed more than 1,700 cameras, both visible and hidden in various areas in Judea and Samaria, to be used as early warnings of attacks, in addition to being used to track the culprits in those attacks. Cameras are now installed on the roads, at intersections and on fences surrounding the settlements.
The documented information is collected by the Judea and Samaria Division of the IDF, as well as by the Shin Bet.
The need for cameras was illustrated during the kidnapping of three boys in Gush Etzion in the summer of 2014. Only a few cameras were deployed then, but even with those few cameras spread along the traffic lane, it was possible to partially reconstruct the path of the members of the Hamas cell who kidnapped and murdered the youths, from the Alon Shvut junction, where they got the three youths into their car, through Dura in Mount Hebron, where the car was set on fire, to the field west of Hebron where the bodies were buried.
In places considered to be prone to Arab violence, such as Gush Etzion junction, cameras were installed in a manner that ensures full, 360-degree coverage,.
In the area along highway 443, from Jerusalem to Modi’in, a special operations room was set up using many cameras to reduce the number of Molotov cocktails and stone throwing incidents.
The army claims that CCTV cameras have already contributed to decreasing the number of incidents along 443 in recent months.
In addition, the IDF has increased its use of camera drones, helmet cameras, and car cameras, on military reconnaissance vehicles, as well as the cars of civilians who perform security duties in the settlements. There are also mobile cameras, which are often moved from place to place as needed.
In less than a year, by last April, some 2,200 Arab terrorists had been identified using the above methods, while at various stages of planning and carrying out terrorist attacks. More than 400 of them were arrested by the IDF and the GSS and some were sent to administrative detention. The names of another 400 young men were transferred to the Palestinian Authority, where and security forces held warning talks with them, to deter them from carrying out future attacks.