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The problem of Paletsinians who enter Israel illegally (“shabah”) is becoming more and more serious. It seems, and not only to me, that someone has not been interested in solving this problem, which provides a tailwind for terrorism.

The Southern District Attorney’s Office filed charges to the Beersheba Magistrates Court against a storeroom owner in Segev Shalom, for hosting overnight Palestinians who entered illegally from the Judea and Samaria territories in his storeroom at many occasions. The perpetrators of the Sarona attack in Tel-Aviv also stayed at this storeroom, without him knowing about it. Khaled and Muhammad ibn Ahmad Mahamrah used the place in order to get prepared for the terrorist attack.

The indictment said that this storeroom served in fact as a hostel for Palestinians who enter illegally, a service for which the indicted had earned hundreds and thousands of shekels a month. He was accused of illegal hosting under aggravated circumstances.

So we have the breached fence, the transportation services from the fence breaches into Israel, and now also a hostel. The security establishment is well aware of the problem but does nothing substantive to solve it, except for some demonstrative operations for the media, here and there.

This has already cost us the lives of Israeli citizens, and if no one decides that enough is enough, and that it’s time to put an end to the staying in Israel of Palestinians who enter Israel illegally, this will continue to cost us in the lives of citizens and IDF soldiers.

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If anybody had doubts about the peculiar anomaly of a military broadcasting station that deals with political issues –  recent events were just an additional assurance.

Following the scandal caused by the program on the poet Mahmoud Darwish on Galei Tzahal (army radio), the Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit phoned Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and made it clear that the minister had no authority to interfere in the army radio’s broadcasts content. Mandelblit contacted Liberman after learning that the latter intended to have a discussion with the military radio station commander, Yaron Dekel.

Mandelblit based his move on a 2015 opinion of the Deputy Attorney General  Dina Zilber, stating that ministers were not authorized to interfere in the affairs of the military station.

In any event, politicisation has been crawling into the IDF for some time. Somebody has lost his mind. Soldiers dressed in uniforms have been interviewing politicians and editing programs on political issues. It’s a crazy reality, and a courageous person is needed for transferring Galei Tzahal to the responsibility of another organization. The IDF should not have a broadcasting station.

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I’m returning to this subject once again – the UAS threat is more serious than ever. A small and cheap aircraft capable of easily becoming a “flying bomb”. The IDF invests efforts in modern fighter aircraft, advanced submarines and new missile boats. Although it is important, it seems that someone along the way has forgotten that there was also a threat “behind the fence”, a threat that does not need an organized army in order to use the UAS for damage purposes.

In Israel there is the tendency to degrade non-army enemies. This is a huge mistake. The Hizballah and the Hamas continue to equip not only with rockets of various models but also with UASs. Last week it was demonstrated that a basic UAS, no matter who operates it, can evade ground-to-air and air-to-air missiles.

I hope someone wakes up and find a solution to this problem, that until recently was considered as no more than a “nuisance”.

Arie Egozi i-HLS Editor-in-Chief
Arie Egozi
i-HLS Editor-in-Chief