'Thieves are Taking Advantage of the Snow'

Engineering officer Michael Biton explains how his unit helped prevent theft by moving stranded cars from the road leading to Beit El.

Shlomo Pitrikovsky,

Samaria under a blanket of snow
Samaria under a blanket of snow
Eli Turetsky

Even at one o'clock in the morning Thursday, Major Michael Biton, the engineering officer of the Binyamin Unit, could be found working actively on the roads. 

Last night, he arrived at the blocked road leading to Beit El in order to supervise the its opening. 

However, he was asked to perform another, slightly unusual, task. "We were asked by police to assist in rescuing and dragging stranded cars from the road in order to prevent theft," Biton said. 

"We learned last year that when vehicles are left on the side of the road, especially when we successfully rescue passengers, they have a high probability of being stolen."

Biton says burglars take advantage of the minuscule numbers of people around, successfully stealing cars quietly and without arousing suspicion. 

Rescuing vehicles that may have been potential targets for theft was the last job of the night. By four in the morning, the engineering forces working under Mjor Biton had lined the road, cleared remains and scattered salt to prevent ice build-up. 

Biton testified to the many preparations the unit had taken, for several weeks, concluding that it was a successful piece of work by the military and expressing satisfaction at what his unit had accomplished. 

"Binyamin received the largest amount of snow in Judea and Samaria, but within hours we were able to open the roads, allow traffic to run safely and smoothly, and rescue vehicles." 

In the past few hours, roads have been reopened and traffic resumed as normal. Even bus lines in Binyamin are running.