PA sources are threatening to march on Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria on September 20, the day PA head Mahmoud Abbas intends to request unilteral recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations.
The potential for all forms of violence during that period led MK Michael Ben Ari to hold a meeting in the Knesset on Wednesday to coordinate and plan on how to deal with and respond to these threats, attended by rightist MK's, regional and local council leaders of Judea and Samaria, rabbis and public figures.
"Is the IDF prepared to win this confrontation, if it occurs?" asked MK Ben Ari. "It has to be a clear victory. The 350,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria do not want violence, they will meet marches with marches, but they will protect their homes, not hide in them, because this land is ours and we are here to stay."
Lt.-Col. (res.) Itzik Shadmi, Head of the Binyamin Residents' Council, stated vehemently that all of the Judea and Samaria residents must agree on deterrence. "Deterrence means – whoever crosses the fence causes danger to life and should know that we will shoot!"
Yonatan Yosef, grandson of Shas founder Rav Ovadia Yosef, of the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood in Jerusalem said: "The Arabs' plan in Jerusalem in September is to enter the homes of Jews, and that is why I am reminding everyone that the Dromi Law is in effect [the law allows a person to shoot a trespasser on his property – Ed.] Yosef stressed the importance of videotaping any provocations as they occur.
Those present were shocked to see the printout of the orders given to IDF soldiers in the area by the Central Command. They are commanded to let the PA police keep order, with the IDF on standby rather than actively participating. They stress the limitations on opening fire, and not the problems of large groups that might try to enter Jewish communities.
"September is already here", said Hananel Durani, the head of the Kedumim local council. Encouraged by anarchists, Arabs keep trying to enter his town as provocations, he said, adding, "The IDF has drawn red lines around communities beyond which Arabs may not go, and we must assert sovereignty by making sure they are stopped at those lines and know about it beforehand".
Mordechai Tznigel, of the Hareidim for Yesha, corroborated his words, telling the same of anarchists at Modiin Illit, a hareidi-religious town, who even injured soldiers. A banished resident of Yitzhar and a representative of hilltop youth spoke of readiness squads trained to deal with knives, sticks, rocks if used by Arabs, without resort to firearms.
MK Zev Elkin (Likud), head of the Land of Israel lobby, demanded to know what the red lines are for relying on the PA police, at what point the IDF will act to protect Israeli lives and property. He strongly criticized giving PA police the task, not only on principle, but also because it is taking place in Area C which is under full Israeli control.
"Just a small threat from the USA made Fayyad come out against the PA asking for unilateral recognition. Why doesn't Israel do the same and tell the PA the price it will pay for these measures in economic and other terms", he demanded.
Rabbanit Shulamit Melamed of Arutz Sheva asked that the Legal Forum prepare an alternate suggestion that meets the needs of the residents of Yesha and send it to the IDF, while Arutz Sheva would publicize it.
Noam Arnon of the Hevron Setters' Committee said that despite the impression of unity, there are many Arabs who are against the moves of the PA and they must be encouraged. MK Nissim Zeevi (Shas) called to return weapons to the residents for self-defense.
Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council, stressed the importance of enlisting the support of non-Jewish friends of Israel abroad to understand the implications of the attempts to overrun Jewish communities.
Rachel Sylvetsky of Arutz Sheva English site noted the disparity between Arab public relations and Israel's comparative silence, said that the head of a large pr firm wrote A7 that Jewish-owned firms would help Israel gratis, but need to be approached. She said that instead of seeing the picture of Arabs marching on Jewish land that they claim is theirs, Western consciousness must be brought to the realization that the September 20 threats are a continuation of the world jihad plans that reached the United States tragically on 9/11, whose tenth anniversary is mourned this week.
Among others at the meeting were Rabbi Dov Lior of Hevron, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel of the Temple Institute,Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe of Chabad, Nachi Eyal of the Legal Forum for Eretz Yisrael, former US ambassador Yoram Ettinger, writer Yehudit Dasberg and former Soviet refusenik Yosef Mendelovitz.