Heightened Tensions in Israel Spark Concerns Beyond Gaza and Lebanon | Update November 16th 2023
Recent developments in Israel have raised concerns beyond the traditional conflict zones of Gaza and Lebanon. The ongoing security situation is feared to spark a potential uprising in the West Bank.
A halt in Palestinian labor entering Israel, coupled with the suspension of salaries for Palestinian Authority employees, is likely to instigate turmoil. The apprehension among settlers is growing as a significant number have been called up for reserve duty, reducing civilian protection.
Following Prime Minister Netanyahu's meeting with West Bank authorities, additional details reveal the scenario Israel is currently facing in the event of an eruption beyond the ongoing conflicts with Gaza and Lebanon: internal unrest against settlers.
According to sources assessing the situation, with over 100,000 workers from the West Bank not entering Israel since the holidays, and mechanics employed by the Palestinian Authority anticipated to withhold their salaries due to Abu Mazen's refusal to accept funds deducted by Israel destined for Gaza, individuals might resort to acts of terror in exchange for opportunistic terror group payments.
Despite a decline in terrorism alerts in the West Bank due to heightened military presence post-conflict, the potential scenario under evaluation in the security apparatus extends far beyond organized terrorist activities. In senior diplomatic circles, there's currently no prospect of allowing West Bank workers into Israel. Thus, the security reality in the West Bank is projected to become increasingly tense, especially as Abu Mazen withholds salaries following the Cabinet's decision to deduct funds designated for Hamas in Gaza.
Israeli security analysts identify the West Bank as a "potential and actual threat" for two missions where the IDF is currently focused: operations in the South to neutralize Hamas and defensive measures against Hezbollah in the North. A third front development will inevitably lead to a reduction in forces in the North and South, impacting operations there.
Amidst these circumstances, there's genuine concern among West Bank residents, given that many men have been enlisted into reserve duty, resulting in reduced civilian protection while organized terror activities against them are being organized.
In the latest overnight operation, IDF forces apprehended 33 suspects across Judea and Samaria. A significant cache of firearms, explosives, and military equipment was seized.
Additionally, a recent attack at the "tunnels" checkpoint on Route 60 resulted in six injuries, including one critical. The assailants, Palestinians from the Hebron area, planned a larger-scale assault in Jerusalem. The swift response from security forces thwarted a potential massacre.
As tensions continue to rise, the evolving situation in the West Bank demands attention, with the potential for widespread repercussions beyond the region's traditional conflict zones.