Additional Israeli deployment in Palestine

The Israeli army is preparing for the possibility of deploying as many as 70 reserve battalions on operational activity in the West Bank next year, at a cost of some 77 million dollars, reports Haaretz.

The first call-up orders for operational duty in the West Bank in January were received already this week by four reserve battalions. But the 2016 plans drawn up by the Israel Defense Forces call for many more. The General Staff doesn’t know how long the current clashes with the Palestinians will last. But its working assumption is that many months will pass before the violence ebbs. If so, it will need many reservists, in part to replace regular troops so they can train as scheduled.

Since mid-September, 12 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks, mostly stabbings. 77 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, some of them said by Israel to have been involved in attacks or attempted attacks.

Both Israeli intelligence and senior PA officials insist that the current wave is not an intifada. The previous intifadas were characterized by plans of action with relatively clear goals, the rapid emergence of an organized leadership and mass participation. None of these three elements exist in the current violence. Israeli defense officials therefore believe it won’t last as long as the intifadas did.