Internal documents from the Israeli Nablus Police Battalion, stationed at the Tapoach base in Samaria, were initially obtained by "Israel Hayom." These documents shed new light on the activities of the Border Patrol from 2017 to 2021, particularly regarding security operations for evacuation and the demolition of illegal construction. Contrary to the perception held by many around the globe, these documents reveal that approximately 90% of Border Patrol activities in this period were directed towards Jewish settlements, rather than Palestinian construction.
Israeli settlement activists argue that this data serves as evidence of selective enforcement in Judea and Samaria. On the contrary, enforcement agencies have long presented data suggesting a focus on Palestinian homes. In July of 2022, it was reported that out of 1,600 illegal Palestinian buildings, 500 were demolished, compared to 67 Israeli buildings out of 340.
שבוע לאחר שהוטלו צווי הריסה על המקום - כוחות המנהל הרסו בתים בגבעת אעירה השחר.— חנן גרינווד (@hanan_green) August 14, 2023
מדובר בהרס מהיר ביותר לאחר מתן צווי הריסה, ובבירור בשינוי מגמה מסויים. עד כמה גדול השינוי? את זה נראה בהמשך. pic.twitter.com/aB9TDX12xB
However, the recently published documents paint a different picture. They indicate that the vast majority of building demolitions in Samaria from 2017 to 2021 targeted illegal Israeli construction. The documents detail 89 demolition incidents during this period, with 80 operations carried out in Israeli outposts and settlements, including Chavat Gilad, Tapoach, and Alon Mora.
Another significant revelation from the documents is the number of arrests made during these demolition operations. In Jewish settlements, arrests were documented in connection with the demolitions, while in the nine evacuations in the Palestinian sector, not a single person was arrested.
Officials from the Samaria Regional Council express shock at seeing this data in an official police document, describing it as outrageous and unimaginable. However, they note that those who have lived in Samaria in recent years have witnessed the disproportionate presence of Border Patrol forces on the Jewish side, both during demolition campaigns and in arrests and detentions.
השר בצלאל סמוטריץ' על הביקורת הקשה שספג לאחר פינוי מאחז 'אעירה השחר' והטענות לפיהן המהלך אושר על ידו באופן אישי: "אני מקבל ביקורת באהבה. זה תפקידי. אני אוהב אנשים צדיקים שרוצים להתיישב בכל מקום ואני מסכים לכך שהמושג 'קרקעות פרטיות' הוא מושג מאוד פלואידי, אבל במצב הנוכחי הקרקעות… pic.twitter.com/fagBsb7z0M— עוזי ברוך Uzi Baruch (@UziBaruch) August 24, 2023
One official commented, "We have always asserted that the number of illegal Arab buildings destroyed here annually can be counted on one hand, and these figures now confirm that we may have even overestimated."
On the other hand, Police enforcement officials argue that this data is only a partial presentation. They point out that IDF soldiers often handle the eviction of illegal Palestinian homes, while the Police's Border Patrol units are primarily directed to Israeli evacuation operations, which demand a different skill set. The police spokeswoman said in response to calls from the settler activists: "The party that decides on evacuation and demolition operations is the Civil Administration, and therefore they should be contacted. The Israel Police is a party that simply helps carry out the above-mentioned decisions."