Operational control of Israel’s border police is expected to be separated from Israel National Police within three months after incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government takes office.
Thanks to an agreement made between Netanyahu’s Likud party and Jewish Power party's far right-winger, Itamar Ben Gvir will have expanded powers in his new position as minister of National Security, formerly known as Public Security.
With the Israel Border Police reporting directly to Ben Gvir, the controversial politician will now seize full control of all activities and operations regarding the West Bank – also known as Judea and Samaria – where much of the current Palestinian civil unrest is taking place.
One of Ben Gvir’s aspirations is to move a sizable number of border police officers from the West Bank to the Negev, enabling him to enforce laws against illegal construction and crime, an ongoing challenge in the Bedouin community in Israel’s southern region.
The reduced police presence at the West Bank border police may be replaced by army or border patrol military reservists, a decision which is expected to come under opposition by Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara.
Until now, the highly-sensitive areas along the West Bank – and other Green Line areas, including Hebron, Ramallah and Jenin – have been manned by experienced border patrol agents, who are now uncertain about their future posts and location. They are also concerned about the new arrangement – reporting to Ben Gvir – regarding their day-to-day operations.
Any changes to regarding border control will be subject to approval by Israel’s incoming defense minister, Yoav Gallant.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.