West Bank, ALRAY - The Israel Military Forces, the Israel Police, the Shin Bet security service and other Israeli agencies, together with representatives from Israeli government ministries, have begun to establish a joint body to coordinate a unified response in the event of a major outbreak of violence in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and other fronts, in case Israel imposes sovereignty over West Bank settlements in the wake of next week's election, Haaretz paper reported Wednesday.
The paper noted that Israel is prepared for scenarios include major attacks in the West Bank and inside Israel; Palestinians breaking into West Bank settlements; large numbers of West Bank and Gazan Palestinians or Lebanese breaching Israel’s southeastern and northern borders, respectively, and entering the country; rocket fire from Gaza, Syria and Lebanon; mass marches near settlements; attempted infiltrations by sea and the blocking of major roads.
Israeli security services expected that Jerusalem would become a main theater of escalation, with the possibility of attacks by East Jerusalem residents and attempts by Palestinians to barricade themselves on Al-Aqsa mosque.
Israeli assessments hold that the violence probably wouldn’t last for more than a few weeks. The likelihood of a third intifada breaking out is considered low.
The paper reported that the police will be responsible for preventing attacks inside Israel and the settlements; the army will be responsible for the rest of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and border areas. The Shin Bet will be responsible for intelligence.
These leaks come in conjunction with the statements of the Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz ye who said on Tuesday that the Israeli government prepared a plan to control the entire Gaza Strip for several weeks, aiming to topple the rule of "Hamas".
The minister did not give any details about the plan he was talking about, while only saying: "It is very big, difficult and very different from everything we have done in Gaza so far."
It is noteworthy that with the upcoming Israeli elections scheduled for the second of next March, which is the third round in less than a year, the statements of Israeli officials led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his government regarding waving Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip are increased.