While a ceasefire has been declared in the Gaza Strip, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operations are continuing in Judea and Samaria. However, Central Command Chief Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh has instructed forces from opening fire so as not to provoke terror attacks and to give peace a chance.
Until now, operations could be carried out with the approval of the brigade commander, but now they will require a higher level of authorization - either from the division commander or from Naveh himself. Orders to arrest terrorists during the day can only be given by division commanders or senior officers. The army wants to avoid riots, which usually occur when troops seek to arrest wanted terror suspects in broad daylight.
“There is no one who wants to disrupt the ceasefire. There's no one planning operations in the West Bank at the moment,” said Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh. “The disagreement is practical, not spiteful.”
It is believed that clashes between Palestinians and soldiers during arrests in Judea and Samaria could give terror groups in the Gaza Strip an excuse to violate the shaky ceasefire there.
Fifteen wanted terrorists were arrested on Sunday night across Judea and Samaria.
Also on Sunday, Islamic Jihad, operating in the Gaza Strip, pulled out of the ceasefire agreement in protest at Israel's operations in Judea and Samaria and vowed to launch suicide attacks.