Israel: May 5, 2000


ISRAELI UNITS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES: The Israeli Army, police, and border guard units in the occupied territories have been reorganized and reduced in size since the Oslo Accords. Current strength and organization is as follows:

@ the division headquarters in Gaza has been replaced by a brigade headquarters controlling a lesser number of troops.

@ the division headquarters on the West Bank has been replaced by two brigade headquarters (Hebron and Ramallah) with a smaller total number of troops.

@ Three mechanized infantry battalions have been retrained as anti-terrorist police. These battalions are designated Haruv, Duchefat, and Shimshon.

@ Two military police companies on the West Bank have been merged into the Sachlab Battalion. This unit is responsible for removing illegal Jewish and Arab settlements.

@ The two Army undercover units operating in Gaza and the West Bank have been converted into anti-terrorist security teams.

@ A new specialized anti-terrorist school has been established in central Israel.

@ The 8,000 Border Guards are divided into six commands. Each has a rapid response unit and several local response units which are trained to link up with and operate with military units when the situation requires more forces.

@ The elite Yamam Battalion, part of the Border Guards, has been responsible for most of the arrests of terrorist suspects since the Oslo Accords.--Stephen V Cole


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