Reservists stand guard near Jerusalem
Reservists stand guard near JerusalemIsrael news photo: Flash 90

IDF reservists are heading home for the holidays as fears of massive Palestinian Authority riots fade. Most were enlisted two or three weeks ago under a “tzav 8” emergency call-up.

The IDF had called up many of its reserves units to provide extra security, particularly in Judea and Binyamin, as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas approached the UN to ask for recognition as a state. The PA was heavily encouraging local Arabs to turn out for rallies, and there were fears in the security establishment that such rallies could become mass marches on Jewish towns.

Reservists went through refresher courses in non-violent repression of riots, and were trained in the use of the latest riot control methods.

Ultimately, planned PA rallies fizzled, with only a few thousand turning out for the main event in Ramallah. Small marches toward Jewish villages such as Yitzhar and Haresha were quickly dispersed.

A small percent of the reservists called up prior to the UN bid will remain on for another week or so to ensure continued quiet. The IDF is expected to be particularly cautious around the upcoming Jewish holidays, as terrorists often make a special effort to attack on festive occasions.