Weapons are flowing freely into Shechem and other Palestinian Authority-controlled towns in Samaria thanks to the recent removal of IDF checkpoints. So reports a senior IDF source who spoke to the Hebrew-language Arutz Sheva this week on condition of anonymity.
The weapons come to Shechem from the south, the source explained. Weapons are smuggled from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt to Israel's Negev desert. From there, they are smuggled to the Hevron region, where the Judea and Samaria security barrier remains incomplete.
Once the weapons reach Hevron, they can easily be moved north to Ramallah or Shechem, where many checkpoints have been removed over the past year as a “good-will gesture” to the Palestinian Authority.
The eased security restrictions in the Shechem area have had other negative affects as well, he said. As IDF troops have increasingly stayed out of Shechem, allowing PA troops to exert their control over the city, open hostility to the IDF has increased, he reported.
When soldiers entered Shechem frequently, their presence was met with indifference by most residents of the city, he explained. However, now that the presence of soldiers in the city is a rarer event, those troops that enter Shechem are subject to frequent attacks by openly hostile residents.
Hike in Judea and Samaria Terror
Statistics released Sunday by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) revealed a sharp rise in terrorist attacks in the month of September. While much of the increase was noted in Gaza, terrorism was up in Judea and Samaria as well.
Dozens of rock and firebomb attacks have been reported throughout Judea and Samaria in the month of October. Two women have been injured in rock attacks in the region, one seriously.