Navigating IDF Buzzwords

Israel is constantly confronted with many security challenges, and the IDF (Zahal) works tirelessly to combat the dangers facing the people living in the country. Here are some of the key buzzwords that focus on the threats Israel is faced with, as well as the methods that ensure security for all.

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Area A is under full civil and internal security control of the Palestinian Authority. Israeli citizens are not allowed to enter Area A without a permit.

Area B is under civilian control of the Palestinian Authority which also bears the responsibility for the internal public order. Nevertheless, Israel maintains an overriding responsibility for the purpose of protecting Israelis and confronting the threat of terrorism.

Area C is under full Israeli security control, though most of the civilian responsibilities not related to land and property are placed with the Palestinian Authority in respect to the Palestinian population therein.

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Crossings are facilities used by people to enter from Judea and Samaria into different regions of Israel. On average, 45,000 entries are permitted daily between Israel and Judea and Samaria. Today, there are nearly 40 crossings, some which are used for the passage of people, and others which are used for the passage of goods.

An average of 15,000 people use the Kalandia crossing each day, the majority of which cross in the morning. In comparison, about 35,000 individuals go through Ben-Gurion International Airport every day. It is not uncommon to see relatively long lines like those at international airports.

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Checkpoints have been used as a method to filter out and prevent terror attacks before prospective Palestinian attackers have a chance to enter Israel. As a result of such insidious methods as female suicide bombers hiding explosives under their clothing and the use of ambulances to conceal and transport terrorist weapons, routine checks have been intensified at all types of crossings.

Thirteen checkpoints are placed strategically throughout Israel’s Central Command region, and operate in time of need and in light of security considerations. The number of checkpoints in the Central Command went from 40 in July 2008 to just 13 in February 2014. The vast majority of applications to cross through a checkpoint are processed and approved within 24 hours.

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This is carried out in a variety of ways, whether it be through overseeing transit permits in the most respectable manner, to conducting surveys that analyze how to improve Palestinian social and economic needs. An emphasis is also placed on education, infrastructure, health, housing projects, and additional humanitarian projects.

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The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Unit is subordinated to the Minister of Defense and is part of the General Staff. The unit carries out and implements civilian policy of the Government of Israel in Judea and Samaria and vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip in coordination and conjunction with the Prime Minister’s Office, other government ministries, the security forces and the IDF (Zahal) General Staff.

The unit’s mission is to promote and implement the policy of the Israeli government in civilian matters, to facilitate humanitarian issues and economic and infrastructure projects in Judea and Samaria and vis-a-vis the Gaza Strip. In addition, the unit leads the coordination and liaison with the Palestinian Authority and with the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

As part of its activities with the international community, the unit facilitates the activities of international organizations active in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip including in matters pertaining to infrastructure, education, health and housing projects and the implementation of humanitarian aid programs.

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A strip of land bordering Israel and Egypt that is currently governed by the terrorist organization Hamas. Following Israel’s unilateral disengagement in 2005, it withdrew all military and civilian presence from Gaza. As a result, Israel does not exercise any effective control over the area. In recent years, Israel has faced an onslaught of rocket and mortar attacks from Hamas-ruled Gaza. The Gaza Strip has become a hotbed of Islamic terrorism and extremism that creates significant security issues for Israel and for the region as a whole.

Hamas terrorist activity and ideology sparked three conflicts with Israel: Operation Cast Lead in 2009, Operation Pillars of Defense in 2012 and Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

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A terrorist organization founded in 1987 that is committed to the “liberation” of Palestine and the founding of an Islamic state. In 2007, Hamas took power in Gaza following a bloody power struggle with Fatah, its political opponent. Hamas played an important role in both the first and second intifadas and is responsible for the deaths of many Israeli civilians.

Hamas’ primary methods of terrorism include the launching of rockets towards Israeli cities and towns, building underground tunnels into Israel with the goal of kidnappings, and carrying out additional attacks against the Israeli civilian population, while using its own population as human shields.

Navigating IDF Buzzwords

Since Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005, Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel on a consistent basis and to expand their weaponry. The rise of Hamas has wreaked havoc and destruction on both Israeli and Palestinian citizens. There have been three military campaigns between Hamas and Israel since the beginning of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip.

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A method used by Hamas. Hamas exploits Israel’s efforts to minimize civilian harm by deliberately placing its military operations within the civilian environment, and uses civilians as human shields to reduce the risk of an IDF (Zahal) attack or to exploit any unintentional civilian harm that is caused by an IDF (Zahal) attack. Hamas intentionally attacks Israeli civilians while at the same time placing their own population at risk.

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The systematic indoctrination of the Palestinian population promoting hatred and violence towards Israel and the IDF (Zahal). Palestinian textbooks, television stations, and cultural activities emphasize the continued resistance against Israel and glorify martyrdom. This has become more relevant with the rising presence of Hamas in Judea and Samaria.

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The IDF (Zahal) is committed to the defense of both Israeli and Palestinian lives in Judea and Samaria. With the rising presence of Hamas in Judea and Samaria, a strong relationship between the Palestinian Authority’s security forces and the IDF (Zahal) becomes even more relevant in preventing the success of radical ideology and terrorist attacks in the area.

“We are still invested in the most important task: saving human lives, both Israeli and Palestinian,” asserts Head of COGAT, Maj. Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai.

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The security fence began construction in 2002 as a response to Palestinian terror attacks during the second intifada. These attacks included suicide bombings and sniper shootings at Israeli civilians. Since it’s creation, terrorist attacks stemming from Judea and Samaria have dramatically declined.

Approximately 95% of the fence is made of barbed wire and warns against infiltrations while less than 5% is made of concrete. The course of the fence was designed in accordance with decisions of the Supreme Court and it takes into consideration both the security of Israeli civilians and its effect on the Palestinian population.

Since its construction, dozens of crossings were erected along the fence to accommodate the Palestinians in a variety of ways. This construction enabled the transfer of both goods and people, including medical care and job opportunities.

Statistics show a clear correlation between the construction of the fence and the decline in the number of terrorist attacks. Between 2002 and 2003, there was a 30% decrease in the number of attacks. Similarly, the number of terror victims decreased by 50% in 2003 in comparison to the previous year. In areas where the fence is completed, the number of terror victims decreased from 46 in 2003 to none in 2004.

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A method of terrorism that is employed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. These terror tunnels are built with tons of cement and building materials. There are two types of tunnels that Hamas employs. The tunnels along the Israel-Gaza border are used to carry out kidnappings of IDF (Zahal) soldiers and Israeli civilians, while the tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border are used to smuggle weapons and a variety of other materials.

For instance, in 2006, armed terrorists infiltrated Israel through an attack tunnel, killing two soldiers and abducting a third –  Sgt. First Class (Res.), Gilad Shalit. This growing trend is directly linked to the policies of Hamas. Hamas’ military wing devotes about twenty percent of its budget to building these tunnels inside Gaza, many of which lead under the border into Israel.

Navigating IDF Buzzwords

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