The Commander of the IDF's Binyamin Brigade, which is in charge of security in the Binyamin area, north of Jerusalem and south of Samaria, had a calming message Thursday for residents of Ofra who are worried by the removal of the security fence that surrounds their community.
In a special interview with Arutz Sheva, Col. Yossi Pinto said that "the military is not abandoning the community of Ofra, the residents of Ofra, or any community, whether in Binyamin or in the entire Judea and Samaria sector."
"The removal of the fence was completely coordinated with the Binyamin Regional Authority," Col. Pinto said. "With the Security Department, with the community's security department, with Ofra's military security coordinator (Hebrew acronym "ravshatz") and all professional elements who deal with the professional aspects," he said.
"At the end of the process," he added, "Ofra's security will not change and will even be better than it was until now," he said. "Ofra's security does not only rely on a few hundred meters of fence, but is a function of several elements, including the fence, but mostly activity by our forces, who do a lot of operational activity there, in means of gathering intelligence, and other means of defense, some of which are in place, and others will be in place later on."
"Even before the fence's removal, a person who wanted to reach Ofra could bypass the fence in several spots, but I never trusted the fence as Ofra's prime security component and I do not intend to trust it in other communities in the future," he added.
"I never slept quietly and said to myself – 'there is a fence in Ofra, we can reduce activity,' and I do not intend to tell myself this now, certainly not after the fence came down. At the end of the process, we will bring security to the community of Ofra."
Photos: Yishai Karov