IDF Increases Forces Prior to Presentation of Trump Plan

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinians take part in a protest against the U.S. Middle East peace plan, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

The IDF is preparing for an uptick in security incidents in Yehudah and Shomron in the wake of the revelation of details of U.S. President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan.

Reports Tuesday said that extra soldiers had been deployed on roads and highways in the region, and security officials on Monday discussed various security scenarios that could crop up if unrest grows.

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas again reiterated Monday that the PA completely rejects the plan – and he advocated violence to stop it if needed. At a closed meeting of the Fatah terror group, Abbas said that the PA would not prevent the organization of spontaneous riots against the plan, and would not prevent rioters from massing at “trouble spots,” such as near Israeli security checkpoints and the security fence.

Hamas also said that it would “resist” the plan and attack Israel, and on Tuesday, security officials said that they discovered an incendiary balloon attack in southern Israel.

The IDF and other security forces said Tuesday that they had drawn up plans to deal with any security scenarios that arise. With that, security forces are seeking to keep a low profile in an effort to avoid antagonizing local populations.

As of Tuesday morning, the situation was said to be “normal,” with PA Arabs commuting to and from work and other activities, but there was concern that that could change Tuesday night, after details of the Trump peace plan are revealed.

Reports Monday said that the plan would allow Israel to annex any areas where Jews currently live in Yehudah and Shomron, but Army Radio said that Netanyahu’s main preference would be annexation of Maale Adumim, with the Jordan Valley a far less likely choice.

Netanyahu realizes, the report said, that he must come home with a solid diplomatic achievement, but not one that will set off widespread unrest among Arabs, which annexation of the Jordan Valley would cause. Annexation of Maale Adumim would be far less controversial – and the city’s mayor, Benny Kasriel, is a significant force in the Likud Central Committee, making the move a positive one for Netanyahu all around, the report said.