Photo Credit: IDF
IDF soldiers involved in pre-dawn counter terror operations in Judea and Samaria, Sept. 7 2023

IDF Special Forces suffered only minor burns last week during a Palestinian Authority terrorist ambush while escorting Jews on a pilgrimage to the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem. The terrorists detonated an explosive that injured several of the advance forces who were securing the route to the Tomb.

But the explosive failed to severely injure the soldiers, because they were wearing new fireproof uniforms, according to an announcement Monday by the IDF.

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The soldiers were also wearing special goggles that protected their eyes from flying shrapnel.

“As soon as sparks or live fire come into contact with the fabric, the fire-retardant mechanism within the fabric absorbs and extinguishes the fire, creating small holes in the uniform in a way that prevents direct contact with the skin,” says Marina Hitrik, an engineer from the technology division of the IDF.

Hitrik is the driving force behind the development of the uniforms. “I felt an immense sense of pride knowing I helped avert a disaster,” she said. “For me, every soldier is like my own child.”

The fireproof uniforms, which contain special flame retardant fibers in the fabric, are intended for use by Israel’s elite forces, the reconnaissance and special forces units who face constant attacks.

Development of the new uniforms began eight years ago when combat soldiers asked for more comfortable uniforms. According to the IDF, the new fireproof uniforms have been slowly integrated into the units over the past two years.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.