The element of surprise is one of the best weapons for soldiers conducting overnight arrests of terrorists in Judea and Samaria, an IDF commander revealed.
Lt. Col. Shai Shemesh, of the Nachshon Battalion in the Kfir Brigade, said that his soldiers try to operate as efficiently and quickly as possible to arrest terrorists without resistance or the need for violence.
Overnight arrests are carried out almost every night throughout Judea and Samaria in operations that have been so routine that they are rarely reported by Israeli media.
However, the maneuvers and arrests of terrorists are critical in dismantling the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian Authority before terror cells can carry out attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. The PA officially is supposed to eliminate terror, but despite “confidence building” statements by America authorities praising PA security, the IDF arrests most PA terrorists.
The Nachshon Battalion operates in Bethlehem and surrounding Arab villages.
“We prefer having 24 hours notice so we can prepare for the operations, but sometimes we have only a few hours' notice,” Lt. Col. Shemesh explains.
He said that moving quickly and efficiently is key to preventing resistance and riots, but the reactions of terrorists vary. The element of surprise and thorough preparation based on intelligence information helps the IDF arrest terrorists without resistance and to move out of the villages quickly.
Sometimes, the search for weapons takes more time than expected. In a recent maneuver in the village of Tzurif, a breeding ground for terrorists, soldiers found weapons hidden in houses, delaying their exit.
The IDF officer said that each arrest of a terrorist has a domino effect because the information gathered from those who are arrested helps the IDF discover the location of other terrorists.