Bilin rioters (file)
Bilin rioters (file) Israel news photo: Flash 90

There has been a drastic reduction in the number of terror attacks near Maccabim, the region through which Route 443 from Jerusalem to the central coastal plain passes.

Terror attacks are down 70% in the sector, from 51 security events per month in February to 15 in September, and the trend is continuing, reported the IDF Website.

In addition, the number of illegal infiltrators bypassing the Maccabim checkpoint and entering western Israel is down by more than 50%.

The change is credited to the anti-terror activity by the Kedem Battalion of the Home Front Command, which is in charge of maintaining security in the sector. “The only way to prevent terror on the roads is the hard work of getting to know the territory and understand it," Kedem Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Itay Levy explained.

The security situation in the sector was so bad earlier this year, according to the report, that residents used to contact the IDF before driving their cars out of their communities, for fear of being hit by fire bombs.

A meaningful reduction in incidents resulted from Operation Brother's Keeper in June, during which the battalion arrested dozens of Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria and confiscated over $100,000 in Hamas funds that were found in operatives' homes.

"Our purpose is to end our period of deployment with terror at the lowest point that we can produce,” said Levy. “We have learned how to provide solutions for even the most difficult events, like gunfire from inside a riot, and we have succeeded in bringing meaningful results in the sector.”

The sector includes well known hotspots like Bilin, Naalin and Beit Lakiya. The battalion carried out patrols in the villages as a matter of routine.

“That is our way of showing them that we are here,” the battalion commander told the military website. “We are always carrying out pinpoint operations, in order to keep the sector quiet, and of course, in order to protect the lives of the residents.”

Kedem specializes in rescue operations from collapsed buildings in case of a missile war or large scale terror attacks. It is also emloyed in "routine security" missions like maintaining the peace in Judea and Samaria or deployment along Israel's border. 

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