Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox
Maj. Gen. Yehuda FoxIDF Spokesperson

Leading Religious Zionist Rabbis met with Central Command Commander, demanding that he increase security in Judea and Samaria following criticism of his recent conduct with residents of the region.

Those present at the meeting included Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi David Chai Hacohen, Rabbi Eitan Eisman, Rabbi Yaakov Shapira and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.

"We had a very interesting and good conversation. We praised the IDF for the good things it does and told him that there is a lack of security in the local communities. He actually spoke in praise of the residents of Judea and Samaria and answered many of our questions. He was happy to hear what we had to say," said Rabbi Eitan Eisman, in a conversation with Israel National News-Arutz Sheva.

He added that the rabbis demanded that Major General Yehuda Fox increase military activity to maintain security for the local communities, as well as clarify instructions on the administrative orders. "He came to the meeting with Shin Bet representatives, and they all spoke a lot of sense. During the meeting, the difficult incident of the village of Ofra was brought up, in which residents were evacuated from Amona during the funeral of combat soldier, Liron Snir. Fox apologized and said that it was his mistake."

"The main goal was to give the local residents a much safer feeling, because they feel unsafe even though there are reserve soldiers in each community. He admitted that there is an atmosphere of fear and claimed that others are also afraid. We expressed all our concerns to him."

He added that, "Fox said that the IDF is involved in many military actions in Judea and Samaria, and that it would engage in more ongoing dialogue with the residents."

The IDF requested to hold this meeting many months ago, but it only took place now, after the rabbis responded to the request.

Earlier Tuesday evening, dozens of women and children demonstrated at the entrance to the kibbutz where Major General Fox lives, protesting the removal of the roadblocks, the opening of the traffic lanes to Arabs, and the recent approval of an Arab harvest in the communities’ territories.

The demonstration was a result of a prolonged protest held every day by women, whose husbands have been conscripted into the reserves, at the entrances to Nablus and Tulkarm. As part of the protest that began three days before the murder of Elhanan Klein, at an intersection near Shavei Shomron, the women blocked Arab vehicles and demanded that the Command officer reinstate the roadblocks at the exit from the Arab villages and cities.

MK Limor Son Har-Melech, from Otzma Yehudit, who participated in the demonstration said: "You are heroic women who are going to be responsible for Israel’s redemption. There is no way to avoid saying this: The lives of the residents of Judea and Samaria are simply neglected, due to the twisted policy of the Major General, who prioritizes the routine and quality of life of our enemies, and prefers to persecute our children, over our security."

"We hoped that maybe now he would sober up and realize that his policy that values ​​the lives of our enemies over the lives of our own people is destructive and dangerous, but even in the middle of the war he has refused to acknowledge this and continues to divert large forces from the defense of our communities to securing Arab harvest," she said.

Hadas Mantinband, resident of Shavei Shomron and one of the leaders of the protest, added: "We came here tonight to demand security for us and our children. It is ridiculous to consider the fact that while our husbands have been recruited into the reserves and are fighting on the front, Major General Yehuda Fox has decided to lead a wanton policy in Judea and Samaria, and to prioritize the enemy's daily life over the security of our residents."

"After Major General Fox ordered the removal of the roadblocks and the opening of the roads in the area to the Arabs, we warned that this was a dangerous move that would cost human lives, but unfortunately our cry fell on deaf ears and Elhanan Klein paid for this with his life, after Hamas terrorists escaped through open roads and shot him to death," she said.

According to Mantinband, "We do not intend to remain silent any longer and wait for the next disaster to happen. We demand that the Major General immediately order the cancellation of the dangerous decisions, and to take action to restore basic security for the residents of Judea and Samaria. We are fed up with PR operations while we are being murdered on the roads. The time has come for a real and deep-rooted operation against the entire terrorist infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, that will restore security to the region."