Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson/Flash90
Efrat's rapid-response counter-terrorism unit.

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, headed by MK Avi Dichter (Likud), on Monday debated the status of individuals serving in local Counter Terrorist Rapid Response Units (Kitat Koninut), following the conclusions of an IDF review of Israel’s regional defense system.

The committee unanimously agreed to recognize the local counter terrorist units as full-fledged IDF reserve units.

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Until now, rapid response teams serve under the auspices of the IDF and members must be reserve combat soldiers, but the teams were not recognized as full-fledged IDF reserve units with all the related benefits

Lt. Col. Eyal Yusefescu, Head of the Manpower Planning Branch, told the committee that the submitted review dealt with mapping and arranging all the rapid response units in the communities under the Northern, Southern and Central Commands, on either side of the “green line.”

The result was a recommendation to run the teams under the auspices of the Reserve Service Law and not the Security Law as is the rule today.

The IDF is convinced the change would enable the military to better operate its operational framework.

The altered framework, Yusifescu said, would allow the streamlining of personnel, operational methods and training models, as befits the orderly training of any military unit.

The change would also allow members of local rapid response teams to enjoy the rights of regular reservists in terms of wages, benefits, and recognition as disabled or fallen IDF soldiers in cases of damages caused during their activity.

While the committee’s decision was unanimous, members of a Rapid Response team told JewishPress.com that it will be great if this happens, but they expect there to be a lot of debates on the way before actual implementation.

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