10 Israeli Counterterrorism Soldiers Hit
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Such a complex organization demands an independent training platform. Accordingly, the designated platoons are trained at Mitkan Adam ("Adam Installation," near Jerusalem). The specific training varies depending on the basic training of the soldiers joining the course, but at its center is a four-month Mista'aravim course, which covers Arab traditions, language, and behavior. This is complemented by intensive camouflage training. At the end, the soldiers may stay for an additional month of specific training; snipers and drivers are the most common in this category. The course is not limited to elite units. Mishmar HaGvul (“Guard of the Border” in Hebrew) is a mixed police-army unit. Its members are soldiers, but the unit activity is under the command of Israeli Police. This trick allows Israel to deploy it in places where the army or the police would be seen as acting beyond their jurisdiction (army within the Green Line, police in the West Bank or East Jerusalem). The unit is noted for recruiting minority soldiers (Bedouins, Circassians, Druzes, and others) and many new immigrants. They are often sent to disperse protests in the West Bank. Accordingly, they have a small counterterrorism unit known as "Yamas." Its name is the Hebrew acronym for "Yehidat HaMista'aravim," namely "The Disguised as Arabs Unit."
Warsaw Ghetto, Israel Ghetto
The event was typical. A force of mista'aravim from Mishmar HaGvul entered Shuafat and detained somebody. Unlike similar operations I have described, this one took place in daylight, and thus disguised soldiers were used. Expectedly, after they found the person they were searching and detained him, their disguise was rendered useless. A knock on the door, its violent opening, shouts, identification requests, more shouts by the people that remained in the house, disguises that get tampered with during the violence, there is no way of performing this silently. While attempting to leave the refugee camp, they were persecuted and hurt as abovementioned. Even the Hebrew report doesn't mention if the person originally detained remained in custody; this is a clear sign that he escaped.
Israel’s Special Forces are finding it more difficult to perform such actions; most of them are illegal by all definitions, all of them are illegitimate. This case was symbolic for more than this reason. The force involved belonged to Mishmar HaGvul. In the 1956 Suez War, this unit was responsible for the Kafr Qasim massacre. In the war’s second day, a curfew was imposed on Kafr Qasim. Villagers who had worked in the fields and were unaware of the curfew were shot upon their return; 49 of them died. The Israeli Supreme Court rendered the attack illegal and ruled that there is an obligation of soldiers to disobey manifestly illegal orders. Firing upon unarmed farmers is such an order. More than fifty years later, Israeli soldiers have manifestly failed to understand the court ruling, targeting unarmed Palestinian civilians with fire weapons. Yet, people learn, and in their physical weakness have learned to bravely face the commandos with sticks and stones. Wasn’t that the main lesson learned from the Nazi Warsaw Ghetto?
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