update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Palestinian infiltrates IDF Judea and Samaria Division base

The IDF stressed that there was no security incident and the infiltrator is believed to be mentally ill.

Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near the Jewish community of Beit El in Samaria, April 25, 2023. Photo by Flash90.
Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near the Jewish community of Beit El in Samaria, April 25, 2023. Photo by Flash90.

A Palestinian man managed to infiltrate an Israel Defense Forces base near Ramallah in Samaria over the weekend and freely roam the premises before being caught.

The intruder managed to climb the fence of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria headquarters without being noticed. The incident reportedly took place on Saturday night after Shabbat.

The suspect was eventually apprehended by two Border Police officers who were exercising in sports clothes while unarmed.

An IDF spokesperson said the army would initiate disciplinary action against two soldiers who were tasked with guarding the sector from where the Palestinian entered, but stressed that there was no security incident as the infiltrator is apparently not a terrorist and is believed to be mentally ill.

In response to the incident, the military said it decided to increase the buffer zone around the base, create a valley between the fence and the road around the base and add additional “security elements.”

The base near Beit El houses the division’s headquarters, Border Police and offices of the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration.

In related news, two armed Palestinian terrorists overnight Sunday infiltrated the Sde Ephraim Farm located near Neria, northwest of Ramallah, and set a residential structure on fire, the IDF confirmed.

“The fire was extinguished, there were no injuries. IDF forces began searching for the terrorists,” the military said in a post on X.

One of the terrorists entered the house with a drawn submachine gun while the second gunman kept watch. When they saw the building was empty, they burned it to the ground.

The house belonged to a couple that got married only days ago. They were out celebrating sheva brachot celebratory meals when the terrorists targeted their home.

Yesha Council Chairman Israel Ganz, who also heads the Binyamin Regional Council that administers the area, said in a statement, “Already for a long time, we have warned about the threat posed by the villages in the area that continue to carry out attacks.

“If we want to prevent the next attack, the military must launch, in the coming hours, an operation deep inside the village from where the terrorists came,” added Ganz.

Judea and Samaria saw a dramatic rise in Palestinian terrorist attacks in 2023 compared to the previous year, with shootings reaching their highest level since the Second Intifada of 2000-05, IDF data shows.

Between Oct. 7 and Jan. 15, Rescuers Without Borders first responders recorded more than 2,600 Palestinian attacks targeting Israelis in Judea and Samaria, including 760 cases of rock-throwing, 551 fire bombings, 12 attempted or successful stabbings and nine vehicular assaults.

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