Beit Horon Had Been Dreading an Attack, Appealed for Better Security

YERUSHALAYIM -

Residents of Beit Horon, the site of a deadly stabbing last week, were dreading such a terror attack, and had long been appealing to authorities for better protection, The Times of Israel reported on Tuesday.

In particular, the fence over which the two Palestinian terrorists entered Beit Horon, and which was described as a weak spot in security by commentators after the attack, had been identified as such beforehand, and police knew about it.

Before the start of the school year, a police official had said that the area around the local school was at risk, noting its proximity to an Arab village, Efi Gilad, a member of the Beit Horon representative board, said.

“They said we were not up to standard. It was just a matter of money,” he said.

The attack in which Shlomit Krigman, Hy’d, was killed and a 58-year-old woman injured, began within a few feet of the kindergarten before continuing to the grocery store. Residents consider it a miracle that no children were harmed.

The terrorists came just before five o’clock that Monday afternoon armed with knives and pipe bombs. Just a half hour earlier, the nursery school was still full of children.

“If they had gotten there 15-20 minutes earlier, things would have been different,” said Gilad of the local leadership committee. “You don’t even want to imagine what could have been. There were 70 kids in that building.”

The IDF has begun reinforcing the fence, extending it by another few feet.

But “if someone can climb over a 4.5 foot fence, they can climb over a six foot fence. A fence is not the solution,” Gilad said.

Some say a permanent security guard outside the school is what’s needed, but the authorities don’t agree.

“They told us, statistically, there’s no need. Well, statistically, we shouldn’t have had a terror attack.”

In the meantime, the IDF has assigned more soldiers on a temporary basis to guard the front gate.

But, people ask themselves, what will happen, chas v’shalom, when those soldiers are removed?