Questions and answers following the terrorist infiltration on Friday
Questions and answers following the terrorist infiltration on Friday
On Friday night at around 18:30 an intruder entered Efrat and stabbed a resident who was out walking with his wife in Dekel (Gimel). The terrorist stabbed the resident in the back, and then fled Efrat. His wife went into the nearest house and called Magen David Adom, who provided immediate medical attention. They also contacted the Moked who quickly arrived at the scene. The First Response Team and military forces searched through the night, but the terrorist has not been caught yet. In addition to the security and emergency forces who responded immediately to the scene of the incident, we activated teams of residents, social services, psychological services and youth services to provide an immediate response to those initially affected. The resident was lightly injured, was taken to the hospital and discharged home on Saturday night.
How did I not know about the incident?
Immediately upon receipt of the report of the incident, Security Department people, First Response Team volunteers, medical personnel, police and military forces responded. The multitude of forces that arrived within a short time made it possible to isolate the scene of the incident and prevent the entry of residents into the scene, to begin pursuit, and to implement searches on the ground and in the air. At the scene of the incident, they went door to door to personally update the residents . At the same time, updates were sent out via text messages, and postings on the Moetza’s website and Facebook pages.
I observe the Shabbat and did not know what happened until Saturday night?
The desire to keep the Sabbath on the one hand, and to ensure the safety of the residents on the other hand, presents a challenge when it is necessary to transmit information on Shabbat. Due to the fact that a huge amount of volunteers and fighters arrived at the scene of the incident in a very short time, we were able to isolate the area and update the relevant residents without extra measures. If it were necessary, we could go around with security vehicles using their public address systems’ or activate the city loudspeaker system. It is important to remember that there is a wide gap between the need to know and the desire to know. Usually we try to provide both. But on Shabbat, due to respect of the Shabbat, we made sure that only those who need to know, knew.
Why did I not receive a message about the incident in Efrat?
The Moked security system uses text messages during emergencies.
As mentioned above, SMS messages were sent to all residents whose details are entered in the system.
If you did not receive any, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why not activate Auto Dialer?
Auto Dialer is a long process that can take several hours in order to make contact with all residents. In events such as these, this method is not effective, and as stated above, whomever needed to know, was notified with a personal message!
If we have to pass on messages to a large group quickly, we would have used other means at our disposal.
How come the cameras did not identify that a terrorist had entered?
Efrat is surrounded by the most advanced and sophisticated perimeter defense system. This system is used as a role model by the army for many municipalities. Along with this, we need to know, that no system guarantees complete protection. The terrorist that infiltrated exploited a weakness in the system with regard to certain terrain and we are in the midst of working on introducing a new system that will provide a better resource for discovery and identification. The dispatchers (mokdaniot) are professional and proficient in these systems. As a result of the initial investigation after the incident, immediate changes were made, and we will continue to learn and improve the system in order to increase the level of security. It is important to emphasize that the movement of the fleeing terrorist was identified, and this allowed those pursuing him to understand which direction he fled. This information is important in the understanding that this was a lone terrorist.
The brigade commander (Machat) said that "the terrorist knows Efrat." How can I be sure that he will not return?
Arab entry into Efrat is based on a number of security and checking cycles, starting with security forces investigating anyone wishing to enter, issuance of a specific approval, inspection at the entrance of Efrat, and patrol cars and security guards at work sites.
Efrat is a large settlement and it is impossible to "hide him". From this came the utterance that "the terrorist knows Efrat." The fact that he chose to sneak into Efrat on a dark night seems to indicate that he does not hold a permit to enter the community, something that we will only know after his capture.
The army, the Shin Bet, police and the security department of the Council all act with determination so that unauthorized people cannot enter the town.
Why is there no fence around Efrat?
When Efrat was first built, it was decided by those that established the yishuv, that Efrat would not fortify itself within barbed wire fences. A fence does create a sense of security, something that shouldn't be taken lightly, but fences, whatever type and even the smartest of all, do not always succeed in preventing infiltrations and attacks.
Throughout the years and with the development of technology, a sophisticated virtual fence was established that knows to identify suspicious movements from a long distance and allows the security forces an extended amount of time during which to prepare and react. Throughout the years, this defense system has proven itself hundreds of times, something that most of the residents are not aware of.
With the understanding that technology is not the solution to all the problems, there are also additional activities being expedited to augment the security.
We will continue to upgrade and improve the perimeter defense system in order to increase security knowing that when there is security there is also a sense of security.
There is not good reception in some of the neighborhoods in Efrat. What is the Moetza doing about this?
The problem of reception in Efrat is known and the moetza is doing everything possible to pressure the relevant authorities (Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Communications) to solve it. An antenna that was supposed to be set up on the Dagan Hilltop in order to give coverage for cellular reception to the new neighborhoods (including Eastern Zayit) was in the end not built. In addition, please know that if it is necessary for you to know about the event, we have the ability to inform every resident through mobile public address systems and sirens, whether it be a week-day or a Shabbat.
We remind our residents to download the Moetza application (אפרת in the application store) and to register in order to receive updates in real time.
The children might be in a state of anxiety – what can be done?
First of all, speak with your children. Explain to them, each according to his age, what happened. In the moetza website you can find suggestions and explanations of the Home Front on how to speak with children in a proper way. In addition, the education system devoted time during the school day this past Sunday to discuss the incident. In the event that you feel that your children need additional help, please turn to the Social Services Department in the moetza - 02-9939370 or the Psychological Services 02-9939333.
Is there a connection between the two events – that which happened three months ago and the most recent?
Further to the understanding of the army and to our own understanding, there is no connection between the two events. In the first event, the attacker, influenced by the media and pressure being put on him, left his house in a spontaneous way and went to carry out an attack. After he was spotted and the security forces spread themselves out, he saw that he would not be successful in carrying out what he planned to do, so he decided to stab the soldier that happened his way and thus the attack was thwarted before the terrorist entered Efrat. In the last incident, the attacker acted in a more operative way on one hand, but on the other hand was deterred following his meeting/struggle with the resident that he had stabbed and chose to flee to outside the yishuv.
What can I do to help?
Make sure that all family members downloaded the application and are registered in the message system
Make sure that all the details of family members are noted in the Office of the Interior (Misrad Ha'pnim), Tel: 02-9939306
If you want to volunteer for the First-Alert Squad, please contact David Weinglass of the Security Department at email@example.com
If you want to volunteer for the Volunteers Unit, please contact Ofer Marciano of the Social Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to donate to Keren Efrat in order to strengthen the defense system, please contact Shmil Atlas, telephone 02-9939315
This incident requires all of us to study it carefully and to draw conclusions. It is important to know that Efrat has an excellent security system which is based on a security circuit consisting of the army, the police, the shabak, advanced technology systems, many volunteers and dedicated workers. All these work and in an absolute majority of cases, succeed in protecting Efrat's residents every night. It is important to appreciate those that work nights as well as days in order to allow us to sleep quietly, see to it our homes aren't broken into and that we can walk the streets safely.
We will do everything possible in order to improve and upgrade but it also important for you to be our partners in building community resilience during this time. B"H, we have on what to depend and on whom to rely on.
A big thank you to all those that assisted during the event.
A speedy recovery to Rafi.
A Happy Hanukah to you and your families!