Matanyahu Englman, Israel's State Comptroller, said in a report published Tuesday that the towns in Judea, Samaria, and along the Lebanese border are not properly protected against the infiltration of terrorists.
According to Englman, around 900,000 Israelis live in the 399 towns in question, and most of the efforts to protect them focus on preventing the infiltration of terrorists. According to data collected by the State Comptroller's office, between January 2019 and September 2021, a total of 144 infiltration incidents took place in towns in Judea and Samaria.
In other words, an infiltration occurred approximately once per week.
According to Englman, an additional budget of nearly half a billion shekel is needed to close the security gaps in Judea and Samaria, and another 110 million shekel are needed to properly protect the towns in northern Israel.
As of now, the Defense Ministry has not advanced a decision from nearly one year ago to budget for the closure of security gaps in Judea and Samaria. The Cabinet has also not held a discussion on the matter.
The central failure in the protection of these towns is the lack of a communications system which allows effective and accessible communication between all the bodies of security and rescue involved in handling emergency events, and especially between the IDF and the towns' security forces. This weak spot may delay the response of the various security forces.
The document also showed that the Home Front Command's commitment to distribute military communications devices to towns in Judea and Samaria was not implemented as planned.
Englman recommended that the Defense Ministry, together with the Public Security Ministry, set a plan of action and decide on a central source which will take responsibility and authority to improve communication between all parties involved in emergency response and the protection of the towns.
He also recommended that the IDF work to implement the program to improve the communication within the towns.