Itamar massacre: Army blamed for breach (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Yoav Zitun Published: 03.14.11, 00:22)
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Samaria security officials say ´systematic failure´ caused Itamar
fence breach which enabled massacre of Fogel family members
Members of the civil security layout claimed Sunday that Itamar
security guards who replaced IDF soldiers in guarding the outpost
acted appropriately during the breach which enabled Saturday´s
Meanwhile, large army forces continue their search for the terrorists
who butchered five members of the Fogel family.
The IDF is probing the incident and whether army forces should have
been dispatched following the alert in Itamar.
The outpost´s operations room is managed by a Defense Ministry
security company which handles frequent false alerts resulting from
wild boars and rabbits coming in contact with the electric fence.
The Shomron Regional Council´s security chief, Yoni Yisraeli, told
Ynet that Itamar´s security officers who replaced IDF soldiers
several years ago did nothing wrong. "The operations room alerted the
patrolman about the fence breech as he has done many times before.
The patroller acts according to the army´s judgment and decides
whether an alert warrants a dispatch or not," he said.
"The area has many animals and shrubs that come in contact with the
fence," Yisraeli explained. "In this case the fence wasn´t cut, but
skipped over. That is why the patrolman scanned the site and moved on
after deducing there was a false alarm."
But this was no false alarm. Only after Tamar Fogel returned home
from a youth movement activity the horrid truth revealed itself Ė
five members of the family had been murdered by terrorists who jumped
over the fence and penetrated the outpost.
Yisraeli explained that settlement security officers are directed by
the army and effectively work in the IDF. "Procedure was duly
followed but the fact that the penetration remained undetected
indicates a systematic failure in terms of security components and
the ability to detect breaches." Security components include gates,
fences, lighting, cameras, security vehicles and more.
Elements in Itamar stated that observation cameras which operate only
partially did not cover the area from which the terrorists
infiltrated. Better coverage would have allowed the security officer
to detect the breach.
A security element in a prominent settlement stressed that the IDF
bears security responsibility. Over the years the IDF has
considerably decreased the number of soldiers guarding the
communities, replacing them with Defense Ministry civil guards, he
He stressed that all guidelines are provided by the IDF and noted
that the decision whether to call for army forces was a joint
decision. "This was a relatively high level penetration which is a
nightmare for any community and its security system."
Another security element in one of the West Bank settlements said
that in most cases the guard is obligated to notify both the
patroller and the army in cases of possible breaches.
"In many communities the army would come and scan the area after the
patroller." Nevertheless, he noted that the fence is important and
irreplaceable. "If itís working it serves both us and the IDF. No
patrol can do the job alone. Until a patroller circles a community,
terrorists can infiltrate several times." Aviel Magnezi contributed
to this report (Copyright 2011 © Yedioth Internet 03/13/11)
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