By Erin Viner
The project, codenamed “Operation Lot,” was launched last April by the Israel Defense Forces, which said the new
The 12-kilometer barrier was erected along the Judea and Samaria Security Barrier in the Judaean Desert by IDF Combat Engineering Corps battalions and the Heavy Machinery Unit.
Two new military posts were established at the site, where security forces will now be permanently deployed to prevent terrorists from crossing over into the State of Israel. The Central Command’s Engineering Array continues to operate in the area to improve and strengthen the Security Fence, said an IDF statement, emphasizing that, “Operation Lot is a significant part of the new operational viewpoint led by the Judea Brigade in the Judea and Samaria security barrier.”
The latest mission has already led to “a substantial decrease in the number of illegal infiltrations into Israel,” said the military, noting that over 600 suspects have been arrested and 150 vehicles have been denied entry into the country over the past few weeks alone.
“We reduced the number of infiltrators who illegally entered the State of Israel from hundreds to just a few per day and reduced the scope of terrorism and crime in the area,” said Commanding Officer of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brigadier General Avi Bluth.
Noting that his division “has undergone a transformation since the beginning of Operation Waves Breaker,” he stressed that the “construction of the security fence, the expansion of freedom of action and the significant thwarting [of terrorist attacks] – these provide protection. We transformed the reality in Judea and Samaria. To everyone who participated in the operation, you had the privilege of taking part in shaping history in the Judea Brigade. Much appreciation to all of you.”
Chief Combat Engineering Officer Brigadier General Ido Mizrahi described Operation Lot as “the practical expression of the initiative, determination and performance of IDF soldiers and the units of the Combat Engineering Corps.
Through an immensely complex operation, the conditions in the area changed, a significant security fence was constructed and the operational forces were provided with the necessary resources to meet their essential task – protecting the security of the State of Israel,” added Gen. Mizrahi, saying he salutes “the people of the Central Command, the Judea and Samaria Division, the Technological and Logistics Directorate’s (J4), the Heavy Machinery Unit and the units of the Combat Engineering Corps.”
The primary security fence was built to prevent Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli citizens during the Second Intifada, September 2000 – February 2005.
The barrier’s success is clearly evidenced by the major reduction of suicide bombings in Israel emanating from the West Bank. Prior to its construction there were 73 separate deadly Palestinian attacks from 2000 to July 2003 – a number that dropped to 12 during August 2003 to the end of 2006, following completion of the first continuous portion of the fence.