The Kalandia Crossing. Archive photo
Commander of Military Police’s Erez Battalion: 2012 saw a dramatic increase in apprehensions of attempted illegal infiltrators
Date: 03/05/2013, 3:20 PM Author: Rotem Pesso
The Military Police’s Erez Battalion, which is stationed at crossings in Jerusalem and the Judea and Samaria region, recorded a significant rise in apprehensions and seizures last year.
Erez Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Yuval Shenkin recently stated that his forces apprehended a suspect or confiscated illegal materials 14 thousand times in 2012, in contrast to 10 thousand such incidents the previous year. The Battalion apprehended 1,450 illegal infiltrators in 2012 – more than double the 601 such apprehensions it carried out in 2011.
The Erez Battalion has also witnessed a sharp increase in discoveries of forged identity documents, particularly in the areas surrounding Jerusalem. It apprehended 193 suspects with falsified documents in 2012, in contrast to 74 the previous year.
“The more the security fence is built around and encompasses the Jerusalem area, the fewer ways there are to infiltrate – and thus [illegal infiltrators] at the crossing are attempting to make use of forged documents,” Lt. Col. Shenkin explained.
Last month, the Erez Battalion encountered the new phenomenon of forged driver’s licenses. “We encountered two of these incidents, one at the Hizma checkpoint and one at Kalandia,” the commander stated. In each incident, the suspects were arrested by Military Police guards and transferred to the Israel Police for questioning.