IDF sends reinforcements to West Bank, will impose closure during election day

After Israeli man is shot dead near Hebron and 5 soldiers are hurt in ramming near Jericho, military and police to deploy additional forces to area

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israeli security forces at the scene of a vehicle-ramming attack at the Almog Junction in the West Bank, October 30, 2022. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)
Israeli security forces at the scene of a vehicle-ramming attack at the Almog Junction in the West Bank, October 30, 2022. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday announced it would be bolstering the West Bank with additional troops and police forces, following a series of attacks against civilians and Israeli troops over the past day, including a deadly attack Saturday night.

Separately, the IDF said it would be imposing a closure on border crossings between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip during election day on Tuesday. The closure is set to begin on November 1 at 00:01 a.m. and is expected to last until 11:59 p.m.

The manpower reinforcement is slated to comprise IDF company and several Border Police units that are to be deployed in the Hebron area in the southern West Bank and near Jerusalem.

Earlier this year, the IDF deployed a large number of additional troops to the West Bank, most in its north, amid a widespread anti-terror offensive following a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 19 people.

An Israeli man was killed in a terror shooting near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba on Saturday night, and another woman was killed in a suspected attack in the Israeli city of Holon last month.

Four soldiers have also been killed in the West Bank in attacks and during the arrest operations in recent weeks. With 25 people killed as a result of Palestinian attacks so far, 2022 is shaping up as the deadliest year since 2015, when 29 people were killed.

Israeli troops carry out searches following a shooting attack, in the West Bank village of Salem, near Nablus, on October 2, 2022. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Earlier Sunday, a Palestinian driver plowed his vehicle into Israeli soldiers at two locations south of the West Bank city of Jericho, injuring five of them before being shot.

The attacks came amid heightened tensions in the West Bank.

In recent months, Palestinian gunmen have also repeatedly targeted military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.

The anti-terror offensive launched earlier this year and focused on the northern West Bank has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids.

It has also left over 125 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

The UN Mideast envoy said Saturday that 2022 is on course to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the UN started tracking fatalities in 2005.

The IDF said the border crossings for Palestinians closed during election day would reopen “subject to a situational assessment.”

Such closures are standard practice during festivals and holidays, in what the military says is a preventative measure against attacks at those times, which are seen as periods of increased tension.

Exceptions during the upcoming closure will be made for humanitarian and other outstanding cases, but will require the approval of the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

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