The Menashe Brigade, which operates in the Jenin and Tulkarm districts, completed a two-day brigade exercise yesterday (Tuesday). The brigade trained for extreme scenarios in which terrorists and civilians encounter each other in urban areas and on the roads.
Major General Hanan Schwartz told Arutz Sheva that the calm in the Jenin and Tulkarm districts which has held since Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 has been maintained because of the hard work of the Menashe Brigade.
"The quiet is maintained here because of work and not because of something else. In order to protect the areas of the settlements and the roads and we are happy that we are able to keep the sector quiet. Every night we carry out counter-terrorism operations and arrests, and during the day we train to protect the settlement areas and we are happy that we manage to keep the sector quiet.
According to Gen. Schwartz, Jenin and Tulkarm continue to be centers for terrorism. "The fact that the sector is defined as quiet is not because there are no terrorists here. I remind everyone that we control the Jenin and Tulkarm areas, which are the terrorist capitals of Judea and Samaria. We do a lot of work here to prevent infiltration through the border into Israel, and to significantly reduce the phenomenon of illegal immigration."
He stated that the brigade trained for extreme scenarios during its two-day drill. The drill took place throughout the sector, including preparations and engagement procedures, as well as training for ground-combat scenarios. We were all involved, from the soldiers to the commanders and the brigade commanders, in order to prepare [the brigade] and to see the lessons we can learn from these scenarios. This way we will understand what could happen [in the event of a serious terrorist incident]."
As far as he is concerned, the most extreme scenario that must be avoided is the encounter of a terrorist with a civilian. "We are constantly practicing for this, and the forces have coped very well. One of the challenges is to succeed in predicting the same scenario that happens [in real life following the training]. It is difficult and we have to be strong everywhere to prevent a potential terrorist from reaching the roads or the settlements. Once an incident occurs, the goal is to be finished with the incident as quickly as possible, and if possible to capture the terrorist immediately. These things went over very well in the lessons and exercises."