Residents of Modi'in Illit fear for personal safety as number of infiltrations mounts

Around 20 Palestinians arrested over past weeks, accused of theft. Residents fear worse crimes could occur.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Recovered loot
Recovered loot
Police spokesperson

A Palestinian resident of the Bait ‘Anan village was arrested on Saturday night, on suspicion that he broke into a number of synagogues in the nearby city of Modi’in Illit. Lately, there has been an increased presence of police and IDF in the city, in light of a spate of break-ins which have been growing in number over the past months. Residents are becoming increasingly alarmed at the situation, fearing especially that the crimes committed by the infiltrators may progress beyond theft to more serious offenses.

In a search conducted at the home and vehicle of the arrested man, property stolen from the synagogues was found, as well as other items presumed stolen from residential homes.

Over the past days, around 20 Palestinians have been apprehended, all of them under suspicion of having committed various thefts in Modi’in Illit. “Our activities are focused against break-ins and thefts that have been taking place lately in the city,” police stated, “and have led to the capture of a number of suspects.”

News of the arrests has, however, done little to assuage the anxiety of local residents, primarily those in the Brachfeld neighborhood where fears for personal safety are mounting. “What’s been happening here lately is extremely worrying,” one resident told Behadrey Haredim. “It’s really a serious threat to our security, and people are beginning to be afraid of walking the streets after dark.”

In response, police stated: “Israel Police in conjunction with security forces are continuing to act with determination, with officers both in uniform and undercover working to locate suspects in the break-ins and thefts and then arresting them and bringing them to justice.”

Last week, two Palestinians were apprehended by the new Hashomrim forces, a neighborhood volunteer unit comprised of local residents that has been patrolling the streets and manning lookout posts in an attempt to gain a measure of control over the situation, in light of what they called a lack of sufficient involvement on the part of the IDF and police. They showed reporters several places in the city’s security fence where holes were clearly visible and also, how people walking through the gaps and entering the town did not lead to any response on the part of official security officers.

On one night alone, two Palestinian infiltrators were caught by the volunteers (who are unarmed), both of them headed toward residential areas and apparently planning to steal items from private homes. The suspects were then handed over to police, who arrested them.