Breaches in security fence near Mevo Horon create security hazard

Bus awaits unauthorized workers; Photo credit: Mevo Horon

Thursday, December 3, 2020, 10:18 Breaches in the separation fence near Mevo Horon are threatening the lives of the residents. Every day, hundreds of Arabs from areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority illegally enter Israeli controlled areas undisturbed through the breaches. Transport vehicles, sometimes buses, then transport them to their final destinations.
In light of the breaches, Honenu Attorneys Menashe Yado and Chayim Bleicher wrote a letter to Defense Minister Benny Gantz on behalf of the Mevo Horon residents. The residents are demanding that the breaches be immediately repaired and that all necessary steps are taken to stop the entry of Arabs without entry permits and without security checks, from areas under Palestinian Authority control to areas under Israeli control.
The letter stated that the security of Mevo Horon is being violated and there is concern for the safety of the residents. In addition to the damage to the infrastructure, which was built at great cost, “entry through the breaches erodes the deterrence factor and causes the collapse of a national security project constructed by the State of Israel.”
As a result of the high rate of Coronavirus infection in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, passage of unauthorized persons brings with it a great risk of transferring the virus to areas controlled by Israel. The unauthorized persons do not undergo any security checks and therefore it is likely that infected persons are among them.
Mevo Horon residents report that during the past few months, many breaches in the security fences have been found near the community. Simultaneously, the nearby Maccabim Crossing has been closed due to the risk of Coronavirus infection and many unauthorized workers from areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority have been illegally crossing through the breaches.
Due to the large number of unauthorized persons passing through, the civilian head of security instructed the residents of Mevo Horon to be especially careful and not to enter the northern area of the community. Also, Honenu Attorneys Menashe Yado and Chayim Bleicher wrote in their letter to Minister Gantz, that “it must be emphasized that the danger is not limited to the above-mentioned areas, but rather exists in the entire area of the community because the unauthorized persons do whatever they want in the areas adjacent to the community, and there is a significant danger of serious injury, G-d forbid, to body and life.”
The residents also state that the breaches in the security fence were publicized in the media, but not dealt with, and every day buses and other organized transport vehicles arrive to take the workers to areas controlled by the State of Israel, without security checks and without work permits, “and the State authorities turn a blind eye to it all.
“The security infrastructure into which huge sums have been invested over the past few years is being destroyed, not only the metal beams and the motion detection equipment, but rather the very concept of the separation created by the fence in which huge sums had been invested, which these days is being genuinely eroded. That which is difficult to build, is easy to destroy. As of today, a huge investment is going down the drain in front of our eyes. This is an unreasonable disgrace. … The uncontrolled entry creates an opportunity for preliminary intelligence gathering for future terror attacks, G-d forbid.”
In the letter, they reminded Minister Gantz of a September 2017 incident at the Har Adar Crossing – not far from Mevo Horon – in which three Israelis, among them a border policeman, were murdered, and that in response the checkpoint at the crossing was renovated and improved to protect the security forces at the site. “All this will go down the drain if the security fence has breaches along its entire length.
“This is a severe security and health hazard. The situation today is that the Arabs in Yehuda and Shomron live under leadership which incites them to carry out acts of terror and which constitutes a supportive environment for terror. This creates a huge potential danger from their entry to and presence in areas of the Israeli population, both in terms of the danger of terror and in terms of the respect for Israeli law, which is not binding on them and is not enforced on them.
“Additionally, there has been a sharp increase in [Coronavirus] morbidity among Palestinians, and the unrestricted passage of hundreds of thousands of unauthorized persons into Israeli controlled areas, without checks or inspections, could cause mass infection in Israel. Unfortunately, continued failure to remedy the situation constitutes serious negligence towards Israeli citizens by the Defense Ministry, which is responsible for their security.”

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