The IDF Central Command is raising its alertness level in the West Bank ahead of next week’s expected Palestinian bid for statehood recognition in the UN. Reserve troops from three regiments were mobilized in the last week alone in a bid to reinforce troops deployed in the West Bank.
The mobilization of the troops, who are well versed in the West Bank operations, was planned in advance as part of the IDF’s preparations for the September UN bid.
Within the framework of these preparations the IDF has additional troops stationed on standby, and additional reserves were also being prepared for the possibility that the IDF would be forced to mobilize them in a state of emergency.
As reported in Yedioth Ahronoth, the reserve units from Central Command will be joined by an additional reserve regiment from Southern Command in order to allow additional forces to be sent to the Israel Egypt border due to recent terror threats.
The forces being deployed in the West Bank have been given a large supply of crowd dispersal equipment but no such means were transferred to the Palestinian Authority.
GOC Central Command Avi Mizrahi’s directives are that senior commanders be placed at the forefront of every incident and that they exercise the proper discretion and restraint in order to avoid casualties and prevent the situation from escalating. Estimations are that any fatalities that result from the Palestinian protests would ignite not only the Gaza Strip but the entire region.
In recent weeks the IDF has witnessed an escalation in violence from right wing extremists. The "price tag" retaliations, which are no longer limited to Palestinian villages, as seen in the recent attack on an IDF base. The IDF fears that such attacks in the current delicate situation could cause an escalation in what is already a tense region.
Meanwhile, the IDF has completed its training of the settlement civilian response units in order to take into account the possibility that mass Palestinian demonstrations would march on West Bank settlements. Designated units have been placed in problematic areas.
The IDF said that their preparations are not just for September but for any events that could occur during the events that could come as a result of the UN bid.