June 19, 2023
Benedetta Bisaccia, Ludovica Leccese, Lydia Baccino, Iris Hautaniemi Forsberg CENTCOM/AFRICOM/Extremism & WATCH/GSOC Team
Evan Beachler, Senior Editor
West Bank, Highlighted in the Grey Dashed Border
Event: On June 18, the Israeli Home Front Command warned of a likely terrorist infiltration into the Jordan Valley settlement of Yafit in the West Bank. An individual approached the settlement's boundary fence, and someone sounded an alarm. As soon as security personnel arrived, the suspect allegedly ran away. Last month, a terrorist infiltrated the Teneh Omarim settlement, near Hebron, by crawling under the security gate. He approached the synagogue with a knife, but a security force member neutralized him before he could enter.
Significance: The possibility of terrorist infiltration into the Yafit settlement in the West Bank will very likely increase tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. There is a roughly even chance that the perception of the incident as a potential terrorist threat will lead to a surge in public anxiety and a call for stricter security measures. The rise in concern will likely escalate the overall political and security situation in the West Bank. Heightened fear among residents in settlements in the West Bank has a roughly even chance of resulting in individuals wanting to resettle in other areas. Terrorist organizations, such as Hamas or Hezbollah, will likely exploit the situation to get involved and strengthen their influence in the region, likely contributing to instability in the West Bank. Stricter security measures from the IDF on the West Bank will likely lead to more spontaneous attacks executed by individuals without apparent affiliations with any terrorist group, as these are more difficult to uncover. Terrorists who successfully infiltrate settlements are likely to be regarded favorably by terrorist organizations’ leadership, elevating the likelihood that more infiltrations will follow. Two similar security breaches occurring within a month will likely lead to intensified political pressure from leading figures within the pro-settlement movement on the Israeli government to strengthen the protection of Jewish settlements in all parts of the region. There is a roughly even chance that this intensified pressure will include measures such as marches and rallies through Palestinian areas, risking violent confrontations between Jewish settlers and Palestinians.
The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends that the Israeli government and security forces assess the integrity of the settlement's boundary fence and take necessary measures to reinforce existing border security equipment.
CTG recommends installing or upgrading advanced surveillance systems to enhance monitoring capabilities around the settlement's perimeter. CTG also recommends increasing security personnel’s presence in and around the settlement to deter potential infiltrations and respond promptly to suspicious activities.
CTG recommends conducting security awareness programs for residents in the West Bank to educate them about recognizing and reporting suspicious behavior or individuals. CTG also recommends encouraging residents to look out for each other's safety by promoting neighborhood watch programs or establishing communication channels for residents to share security concerns.
CTG recommends that the Israeli government and local law enforcement work cooperatively with international humanitarian organizations to create a safe and secure passageway for civilians wishing to leave the region for fear of violent attacks. CTG recommends including a resettlement plan that aids individuals through documentation support to ensure a smooth operation.
CTG recommends fostering intelligence sharing and strengthening intelligence agencies’ cooperation and exchange of information to stay informed about potential threats or developments that may impact the settlement's security.
CTG recommends that residents of the Yafit settlement report any suspicious behavior or activities they observe to the appropriate authorities, as this could help identify potential threats and prevent further incidents. Residents should download the Israeli Home Command mobile application to receive situation updates.
If there is any additional and or critical information, please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-2848 or email email@example.com.
 Possible terrorist infiltration in the West Bank- Home Front Command, The Jerusalem Post, June 2023, https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-746686