A third shooting attack was reported on Thursday night near the town of Ofra. The intended victim said he heard shooting, but was not hurt. The IDF investigated the incident and said it was not a shooting.
The civilian patrol initiative is backed by the Binyamin and Samaria Residents Councils. Those taking turns on patrol are former combat soldiers and IDF reservists; all will be armed with guns and will carry medical supplies.
The Residents Councils called on all Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria to send units made up of civilian reservists out to patrol local roads on a regular basis.
Binyamin Residents Council head Yitzchak Shedmi, a former IDF commander, explained that the civilian patrols aim to augment the security provided by the IDF. The IDF has been weakened by recent political concessions, he said, “They’ve reduced the number of troops in the region because they trust Abu Mazen’s [PA Chairman Abbas – ed.] soldiers.”
Civilians “can provide medical care, or assist in defense, and can respond more quickly than the army,” he continued. The patrol units will inform the IDF of their plans before beginning their route, he said.
Samaria Residents Council head Benny Katzover head Defense Minister Ehud Barak responsible for the need to provide additional security on Judea and Samaria roads. “Due to the Defense Minister’s irresponsible behavior in recent months, including taking down checkpoints and reducing the number of IDF troops… there has been a serious downturn in the security situation,” he said.