Standing Together With First Response Anti Terrorist Teams
When I say IDF, people around me smile, salute and begin to thank those in uniform. I want to tell you about another group of soldiers who are much less known but are just as important. While neighborhoods in the cities of Israel are protected by natural separation barriers as well as security checkpoints, the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria are constantly on high alert due to their close proximity to Arab villages that have a long track record of terrorism against Jews.
Do not misunderstand the need for caution as fear. Those of us living in the beautiful rolling hills of Judea or in the majestic Samaria region have a wonderful and peaceful life, but we are always on alert due to the close proximity of neighboring non-Israeli Arab villages. While many towns have high powered cameras, fences and other tools that are meant to protect the residents from terrorist threats, the manpower and security personnel who are the first responders to any terrorist attacks are called ‘Kitat Konenut’, ‘Anti Terror First Response’ teams.
Unlike regular warfare that takes place on enemy territory, the first response security teams must be experts when it comes to urban warfare and anti-terror combat in friendly areas. The members of the First Response teams are often called out on training exercises in order to improve both our speed and accuracy. When it comes to terrorist infiltrations, every second counts and every second that we do not neutralize the threat can be fatal. At the same time we have to be super accurate; a bullet that misses its mark can end up killing a neighbor or worse.
Although first response anti-terror teams are specially trained by the IDF and our weapons are IDF issue, all other operational and personal gear is privately purchased.
Over the past half year, the Efrat security team has been called out numerous times to stop attempted infiltrations – terrorist attacks as well as criminal infiltrations. Two months ago a terrorist infiltrated Efrat and although the city’s security cameras gave us precise information as to where the terrorist infiltrated from, we searched for the terrorist for well over 5 hours. We were unsuccessful in apprehending the threat due to the lack of night vision and an IDF soldier was stabbed and moderately injured by the terrorist. We were literally meters from the terrorist but were simply unable to see him.
This past Friday night there was a second attack in the city of Efrat. An Arab infiltrated Efrat and attacked a couple who was walking home from shul (synagogue). The terrorist lunged at the husband and stabbed him 4 times in the back and by miracle alone missed his lungs. The First Response team was immediately called in and we arrived, still in our Shabbat clothes, armed with our vests and weapons. We followed footsteps as well as worked with information we received from witnesses and started a frantic manhunt for the terrorist. Once again, our search was an impossible mission without the proper night vision equipment. We searched through muddy fields and boulder covered areas for over 3 hours until the IDF units came in to take over.
Thank God the last two attacks ended with moderately injured victims only. It is clear that we need night vision capabilities as well as high powered flashlights in order to be effectively able to stop any terrorist threats that happen in the evening hours. Because we are not officially part of any IDF unit, we are not entitled to receive IDF issue night vision equipment.
We have received a price quote for night vision systems that hook up to our helmets as well as flashlights and we need your assistance so that we can be more effective in stopping any terrorist threat.
We need at least 10 night vision systems (one for each team) at a cost of $2,500 per goggle ($25,000) as well as 45 flashlights (one for each team member) at a cost of $200 per light ($9,000).
As we celebrate Chanukah there are those who are on call making sure the people of Israel can celebrate peacefully. Here is your chance to do your part in keeping Israel safe. At a time when the UN calls Jews living in Judea criminals, here is your chance to show your support in the most practical way possible.
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