Here’s something for US Ambassador Tom Nides to condemn: Arab rioters overnight Thursday arrived at the Binyamin crossing road, connecting East and West Binyamin near the settlements of Ateret and Neve Tsuf, and blocked it for more than three hours by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.
Binyamin Regional Council Head Israel Gantz responded on Friday: “A sovereign country and an army cannot allow enemies and rioters to cut off a main road like that. The message sent tonight to the Arabs of the region is dangerous and encourages rioters and terrorists. The IDF had to disperse the rioters by any means necessary and guard the main highway. Unfortunately, the message that was sent last night to the Arabs of the region is dangerous and may worsen the security situation. I talked to the area commanders and stressed the seriousness of the event. I demand a comprehensive investigation, at the end of which conclusions would be drawn that would ensure that such an event would not happen again.”
Israel Gantz is crusading this week to bring back the IDF checkpoints to the liberated territories. Responding to the terrorist attack that took the lives of Nachman Shmuel Mordoff, 17, Elisha Antman, 18, Harel Massoud, 21, and Ofer Fairman, 63, Gantz said on Thursday: “You don’t need to be a great security expert to understand that the current security concept does not match the threats.”
“We have warned about it for a long time, and unfortunately we were not wrong. While there are good actions that the army initiates deep inside the territory, this does not represent a conceptual change,” Gantz continued. “The IDF should launch a crushing attack against the terrorists’ nests, and not leave until the terrorist infrastructure is destroyed and the enemy defeated. If we continue to chase after every individual terrorist and squad, we would continue to pay a painful and dear price. I will leave the operational plan to the military, but the path must be decisiveness.”
The main change, which must take place immediately, according to Gantz, is to bring back the checkpoints on the roads that connect Jewish and Arab communities in Judea and Samaria. He said as much to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a recent meeting.
“In the absence of checkpoints in places which are prone to disasters, the terrorists’ movement is free and easy both to the place of the attack and on the way back,” Gantz said. “This was exactly the case in the murderous attack this week. Leaving the checkpoints open in such a sweeping manner is part of the problematic security concept that must be changed.”
Minister of National Missions Orit Struk (Religious Zionism) also lamented the removal of the IDF checkpoints that had been established during the 2021 Operation Guardians of the Wall. “In recent months, an absurd situation has developed in which a person standing in traffic in Hawara does not know if terrorists are lurking on his side, his front, or his rear – as was the case in the attack in which Hillel and Yagel Yaniv were murdered. This situation must and can be resolved.”
Between 1948 and 1966, the Israeli government imposed martial law on its Arab citizens. As part of the martial law, Israeli Arabs had to acquire permits to leave their villages day and night. Arabs who sought employment in local municipalities or the country’s healthcare and education system had to be approved by the Shin Bet. However, Arabs were free to vote and be elected.
Those were different times, although the government that imposed this “apartheid” system was leftist. The Arabs were perceived as an existential threat to the free and democratic State of Israel, so for 18 years, they had to endure this military regime.
The settlers are asking for a lot less: Israel doesn’t have to lock up the PA Arabs in their villages, it only needs to stop and check their cars’ trunks on the roads.