Modi'in Ilit
Modi'in IlitFlash 90

Residents of the haredi city of Modi'in Illit have warned that the sewage tunnels can serve as passage for Palestinian Authority Arab infiltrators from the town of Bil'in.

The danger was initially reported by MK Yossi Taieb (Shas), who filed an urgent proposal titled, "The Neot Hapisga and Heftziba neighborhoods in Modi'in Illit are vulnerable to infiltrations from Bil'in due to the removal of blockades in the concrete tunnels."

In the explanation of his proposal, Taieb described the dangerous phenomenon: "Between the Neot Hapisga and Heftziba neighborhoods and the town of Bil'in, there are wide concrete tunnels which are used for sewage. In order to prevent the infiltration of thieves or terrorists, concrete barricades were placed near the city, and from the direction of Bil'in, fences were placed. Both of these were removed as of late, apparently with the knowledge of the army and the administration for the 'seam line,' who are responsible for the welfare of Modi'in Illit's residents, and the situation right now is that the passage is open."

"Even a motorcycle could pass through these tunnels. This fact has already sparked a wave of theft, and we are also concerned of terror attacks, G-d forbid."

In a written response, the IDF confirmed the details and testified to its role in the matter: "In these rainy days, the administration operates using a policy of opening the grilles (including fences) to prevent the collapse of the obstacle due to the large amounts of rain which are flowing through the passages below it. This policy is called the 'storm policy' and under it we reduce to a minimum the amount of time needed to open the grilles in the water passage."

The IDF and Seam Line Administration also noted that the water passages were open between January 25 and February 4. The IDF also noted that any opening of the grilles is coordinated with the brigade in charge of the region, and that police, not the IDF, are responsible for Modi'in Illit's internal security.

On Wednesday, Taieb removed his proposal from the day's itinerary, at the request of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud), after he was promised that the matter would be dealt with and properly fixed.