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IDF launches major engineering drive to strengthen defenses along West Bank border

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

In this image issued by the Israeli military on July 21, 2022, engineering vehicles work to dig a trench along the border with the West Bank in the Judaean Desert area. (Israel Defense Forces)
In this image issued by the Israeli military on July 21, 2022, engineering vehicles work to dig a trench along the border with the West Bank in the Judaean Desert area. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces has launched a major engineering operation to strengthen defenses along the border with the West Bank, after several terror attacks earlier this year were committed by Palestinians who easily managed to cross the security fence.

The IDF says 60 engineering vehicles and three battalions led by the commander of the military’s Combat Engineering Corp, Brig. Gen. Ido Mizrahi, are working to build a barrier in the Judaean Desert area of the West Bank.

The plan includes digging a deep trench over dozens of kilometers to prevent the passage of people and vehicles.

Five kilometers of the trench have already been dug, in coordination with the Nature and Parks Authority and the Antiquities Authority, the IDF says.

“Along with forces in the area, we are protecting an area that several months ago was totally open,” says the engineering commander of the IDF’s Central Command, Col. Ido Journo. “I believe this plan will prevent the passage of [people for] terror attacks as well as criminal activity.”

Last month the Defense Ministry began to upgrade a section of the barrier in the northern West Bank, and in April, the IDF began to patch up holes in other areas of the fence.

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