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December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Paratroopers’

First Hand Account of Gaza Operation by Wounded IDF Soldier

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

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Sgt. O. entered Gaza with the IDF Paratrooper Special Forces during Operation Protective Edge with orders to dismantle terrorist infrastructure. On the fourth day of the ground operation, he was wounded in a firefight with terrorists. His first-hand account of the fighting in Gaza sheds light on the tactics used by Hamas and the IDF’s parallel attempts to deal with those tactics while minimizing harm to civilians.

Operation Protective Edge

On July 8, in response to weeks of escalating rocket fire from Gaza, the IDF embarked on Operation Protective Edge to restore quiet to the south of Israel. On July 17, after consistent airstrikes on terror targets, ground forces were sent into Gaza to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure there, including the vast underground network of tunnels built to infiltrate and attack Israel. Sgt. O.’s platoon was among the forces transferred to southern Israel and then sent into Gaza to complete the mission.

“We were preparing to enter Gaza and my friends and I were called in for a briefing. Our commander told us that our mission in Gaza was exclusively to find tunnels,” he says. “We were told not to fight or open fire on anyone who does not present an imminent threat to us, even Hamas operatives.”

Sgt. O. says that his commander reiterated: “We do not fight indiscriminately. We are an army, not a terrorist organization.” Sgt. O. recounts how his unit entered areas where no civilians were present, apparently having evacuated after receiving constant warnings from the IDF to distance themselves from combat zones. However, in many of the homes the soldiers entered in these areas, they found large stockpiles of weapons and explosives.

The whole neighborhood was a terrorist base

Sgt. O. tells of the profound impact that witnessing Hamas’ indoctrination of the people of Gaza made on him. “It was very difficult to see how in Gaza there is an entire generation being raised on the values ​​of hatred and violence against Israel,” he says.

“In every house we found magazines, newspapers and other media for anti-Israel propaganda,” he recalls of an operation inside a neighborhood of Gaza. “We even found some documents containing plans to conquer Israel to build a Palestinian state over all the land of Israel.” Still worse than the brainwashing was seeing how Hamas had converted the neighborhood’s civilian buildings into terrorist infrastructure. “The most worrying thing was the inconceivable amount of weaponry they had in their homes,” he says. “We even found explosives in nurseries. The whole neighborhood was practically a terrorist base.”

Weapons and explosives found next to a crib in Gaza

Weapons and explosives found next to a crib in Gaza


Hamas steals from the people of Gaza

Sgt. O. explains how clear it is that the people of Gaza suffer while Hamas funnels resources into terror activity.

“It was shocking to see how ordinary people live in poor conditions in empty houses while Hamas operatives  from those working in the tunnels to senior officials  live in big houses full of luxuries,” Sgt O. says. “Not to mention all the money Hamas embezzled in constructing tunnels and smuggling weapons.”

Price of Hamas

Sgt. O. explains how his experience inside Gaza taught him that Hamas has no value for human life. “They do not want peace,” he says. “Hamas terrorists saw an IDF ground operation as an opportunity to kill as many soldiers as possible before dying themselves. Kill and die. That was their mission.” Sgt. O. was shot by terrorists on the fourth day of the IDF’s ground operation. His force was ambushed by a Hamas cell that emerged from a tunnel. They then came under fire from another group of terrorists who fired from the windows of surrounding homes in the neighborhood. Sgt. O.’s entire team was injured in the ambush, but they fought on. Sgt. O.’s team killed a number of terrorists during the battle while one IDF reservist was also left dead.

A part of who I am

Despite his injury, Sgt. O. does not regret fighting in Gaza. He understands that Israel would have continued to face major terror threats had the IDF not initiated Operation Protective Edge.

“In one of the tunnels we searched, we found a stockpile of weapons equivalent to the armaments of an entire battalion. All of that was intended to carry out a massive terrorist attack on Israeli civilians,” he says. “It is these moments where one really understands the importance of this operation.” Sgt. O. says that protecting the homeland is a core value in his family, and thus he knew from an early age that he would serve in a combat unit. After enlisting in the Paratroopers Brigade he tried out for, and was accepted to, the brigade’s elite special forces unit. “Since childhood I always wanted to be part of a special unit. It is a part of who I am.”

IDF Paratroopers Expose Weapons and Tunnel Openings

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Paratroopers in Gaza Foil Ambush

Friday, July 25th, 2014

IDF paratroopers foiled an ambush in Gaza on Thursday when they surprised terrorists who had prepared an explosive device to kill them.

Operation Protective Edge entered its 18th day Friday with a significant decline in the number of rocket and missile attacks on Israel and what is perceived as clear signs of a decline in the morale of Hamas.

No IDF casualties were reported overnight, but four soldiers, including two paratroopers were seriously injured. It is not known if the paratroopers were wounded in the same incident in which the combat units foiled the ambush, as explained n the video below.

A Golani battalion commander suffered serious injuries when a terror tunnel collapsed one him.

The IDF carried out more than 130 attacks on Hamas terror targets Thursday, bringing to more than 3,00 the number of actions taken against the Hamas terrorist infrastructure.

Government unity for continuing the counter-terrorist campaign is weakening in the face of new proposals from  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for a ceasefire. Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog said Friday morning he is in favor of a ceasefire if Hamas accepts it, while most Likud, Jewish Hem and Yisrael Beitenu Knesset Members want the IDF to finish the job and disarm Hamas.

PA Lawmaker Khaled Ibrahim Arrested in Kidnap Search

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

It has been 13 days since Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha’ar and Eyal Yifrach were abducted by Arab terrorists as they hitchhiked home from yeshiva in Gush Etzion to be with their families for the Sabbath, but motivation remains high among the IDF soldiers who search every night for the teens.

There is no word on their whereabouts or condition, but tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers are combing the hills of Judea and Samaria, hunting for the boys and those who abducted them, while trying to make the area safer from now on for those who live there.

The other goal is to neutralize the creeping presence of the Hamas terrorist organization — which publicly states its whole-hearted commitment to Israel’s annihilation and that of its citizens — and which has managed to infilitrate the region over the past several years.

Palestinian Authority lawmaker Khaled Ibrahim was among the 17 PA fugitives who were arrested by IDF soldiers overnight Tuesday in the continuing search.

Ibrahim, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was among those taken into custody during Operation Brother’s Keeper.

The IDF has meanwhile uploaded to YouTube a video from a Skylark drone, showing a paratroopers unit raiding the home of a Hamas terrorist in Beit Awwa, a suburb northwest of Hevron.

Thanks to the operators of the Skylark, the IDF soldiers were able to track down the fugitive as he tried to escape. The drone showed him running to a nearby house where he apparently thought he could hide, and the paratroopers used the data to make the arrest, without resistance.

IDF troops also discovered a cache of weapons in Jenin late Tuesday night, but were forced into clashes there with PA Arabs before confiscating the arms. No injuries were reported.

Operation Brother’s Keeper

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

After an operation in Judea and Samaria Wednesday night, Israeli forces have arrested about 280 Palestinian Arab suspects in connection with the recent abduction of three Israeli teenagers.

IDF soldiers arrested 30 terror suspects Wednesday night in connection with Operation Brother’s Keeper, the mission to find Hamas operatives who abducted three Israeli teenagers last week.

Since the beginning of the operation, IDF forces have detained approximately 280 suspects, including 200 Hamas operatives. Fifty five of the arrested were released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011.

Forces detained the suspects in the Judea and Samaria region, where Hamas terrorists abducted the three teens last Thursday. Soldiers also searched about 900 locations and carried out operations against Dawa institutions, the civilian mechanism used by Hamas to recruit operatives, disseminate information and raise funds.

During an operation in Nablus earlier this week, the IDF uncovered hundreds of weapons and explosives hidden in Palestinian weapons caches. As forces left the city Wednesday night, Palestinians hurled rocks and an improvised explosive device at the soldiers, leading to several arrests in the area.

A violent riot also erupted Wednesday night in Jenin, where soldiers were operating as part of their mission to find the teens. Like in Jenin, Palestinians hurled explosives and opened fire at the forces. The soldiers responded with live fire, identifying hits.

On Sunday morning, the IDF confirmed that Hamas terrorists were responsible for last week’s abduction. The IDF’s soldiers are working around the clock, on all fronts, to find Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel – the three Israeli teenagers abducted last Thursday.

Soldier guides a drone in an IDF exercise

Soldier guides a drone in an IDF exercise.

Soldiers controlling drones on the ground are enhancing Israel’s operation. Their technology provides crucial intelligence to forces trying to find the kidnappers. “As soon as we identify [a target], we’ll be able to notify forces in the area,” said Captain Yochai Varso, an IDF company commander. “When they ask to see a house, we’ll be able to show them the structure and movement nearby.”

During an overnight operation Saturday, IDF forces arrested about 80 Palestinian suspects connected to the terrorist kidnapping. “Palestinian terrorists will not feel safe,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner stressed after the operation. “They will not be able to hide and will feel the heavy arm of Israel’s military capabilities.”

gantz During a press conference on Saturday evening, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz discussed the IDF’s broad search effort. “We are operating wherever needed and our efforts are growing,” Lt. Gen. Gantz stressed. “We remain determined to achieve our operational objectives, and will act with responsibility, poise and determination to accomplish whatever is required of us.”

Israeli forces searched throughout Hebron for signs of the young Israelis. Their operation took them between alleys, on top of houses and through the city’s markets. Israeli forces performed similar operations across the Judea and Samaria region.

Netanyahu Praises Soldiers for Rounding Up Terrorists He Released

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

IDF soldiers spent the dark hours of Tuesday night tramping around the hills of Judea and Samaria and bashing in reinforced metal doors to homes in Arab villages, rounding up some 50 terrorists who had been released from Israeli prisons in exchange for kidnapped former Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit. Another 15 Hamas members were arrested as well and taken for interrogation.

They also shut down the Fatah-controlled Al-Aqsa radio station in the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah, as well as its transmitter in Hevron. In addition, the IDF raided a number of charity organization centers operated by the ‘Dawa’ social services division of Hamas in Judea and Samaria.

By the wee hours of Wednesday morning, soldiers from the Kefir and Nachal Brigades had stormed selected homes in a host of PUG towns across the region, backed up by a paratroopers combat unit. Among the locations targeted were Jenin, Kabatiya, Tzufrir and Beit Awa, and others.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the troops for their tenacity in tracking down the recidivists in what undoubtedly was a frustrating and difficult mission — a fact he acknowledged.

“I wish to extend my congratulations to the troops and commanders of the IDF and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) for the complex operations they carried out overnight,” the prime minister wrote in a tweet posted on the Twitter social networking site.

“The operation overnight in which Hamas terrorists were arrested, including those released in the prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit, is an element that carries with it an important message,” he tweeted on his Twitter account. “This is all part of a series of many operations that will continue, and their goal is to retrieve the kidnapped youngsters and strike a blow to Hamas in Judea and Samaria.”

All of those who were arrested were members of Hamas and were selected by the Shin Bet as targets for capture by the IDF. As part of their early release from prison in the swap deal that brought Shalit home to his parents after five years of captivity in Gaza, the fugitives had signed a pledge – which they violated – not to return to terrorist lifestyles.

Also on Tuesday night, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, noted that although PA unity government leader Mahmoud Abbas had signed a document for membership in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, clearly his people hadn’t read it.

Prosor pointed out than in less than 10 days since the new PA unity government officially was formed, the international community raced to offer congratulations on the new ‘marriage.’ He recommended that those who offered the congratulations likewise now race to look into the eyes of the parents of the kidnapped teens.

IDF Paratroopers Take the Biggest Jump of Their Lives (Video)

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Israeli paratroopers – 1,000 of them – trained in southern Israel this week and topped the exercise with a jump that in seconds overcomes fear and leaves behind the noisy engines of the plane for the quiet of the long drop to earth.

“Every paratrooper preparing to leap from a plane must overcome fear. It’s natural to feel fear, but paratroopers leave fear behind them. We are the only ones who are tested in the face of fear — even during training, said Brigade Commander Col. Eliezer Toledano said that

“The Paratroopers don’t need lengthy preparations to strike a very large array of forces behind enemy lines,” he added.

Col. Toledano stressed that the importance of the exercise is that “we proved that at any given moment the IDF can take a large amount of soldiers and drop them deep in enemy territory in a matter of moments… we have the ability go anywhere we say we will go.”

Jumping out of the plane is only the first part –  more important is what happens when you land.

“There’s a risk that you will you will be cut off from the Brigade and won’t find your friends on the ground,”  said Deputy Brigade Commander Lt. Col. Itamar Ben-Chaim. “It’s possible that you will end up fighting with soldiers who are not from your platoon, so we educate commanders in spatial understanding and in taking initiative.”

The Brigade applied lessons they had learned from last year’s exercise, reaching a new safety standard and making sure that their soldiers can fight effectively after landing. The severity of  injuries decreased in this year’s exercise in relation to last year’s.

After the Paratroopers land, they have all the equipment they need to operate in the battlefield, including heavy vehicles that allow for continuous and sustained operations in enemy territory after landing.

“The best part of an exercise like this,” said First Sgt. Hadar Ben Simon of the Reconnaissance Battalion, “is the contrast between the noise of the aircraft before you jump, and the quiet after the parachute opens.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/idf-paratroopers-take-the-biggest-jump-of-their-lives-video/2013/07/26/

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