The National Security Council, which oversees the regulation and security of Israeli communities in the Jerusalem Seam Zone that borders the security barrier between the capital and the Green Line, has decided to classify all 14 settlements, as well as the Mishor Adumim industrial zone, as frontier communities.
The decision will grant the communities “high-risk” status” and give the Border Police full authority over their security. The decision is also likely to facilitate a favorable government vote on the issue of security jurisdiction, 20 years after the matter was first debated by the Cabinet.
In 2001, the government decided to implement the Jerusalem Seam Zone Plan. In 2006, the government divided the operational responsibilities in the area between the military and the Border Police, placing the latter in charge of security for Seam Zone communities. A plan drafted in 2007 between the Israel Defense Forces and Border Police detailed the necessary measures to complete the move, but the plan was never implemented, and the IDF retained the funds, while the Border Police shouldered the burden on the ground.
Some progress was achieved in 2017 and 2019, but the prolonged election campaign that stretched into 2020 prevented the conclusion of the matter.
In late 2021, the Border Police announced that it would be pulling its troops from the area, which in turn prompted the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council to petition the High Court of Justice on the matter.
“It is unthinkable that the thousands of Israelis living around Jerusalem had been abandoned by security forces,” the petition read.
A senior Border Police official rejected the claim, telling Israel Hayom, “The announcement aside, we’re still there and we still bear [security] responsibility for the area.”
A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said, “The preparatory work done by the National Security Council was completed at the end of 2018. Recently, and in light of the budget approval, work on the issue was renewed and a new decision proposal will be formulated to regulate it.”
This report first appeared in Israel Hayom.