Commander of 36th Armored Division: All soldiers to learn Krav Maga

Decision follows several recently thwarted abduction attempts in the Northern Command

Date: 22/02/2012, 4:31 PM     Author: Matan Galin

The IDF (Zahal) is refining its procedures to deal with attempted abductions. Following several recently thwarted kidnapping attempts, the Northern Command decided all soldiers serving in the 36th Armored division will take a combat course.

The division commander, Brig. Gen. Tamir Heyman, refuses to remain indifferent to the repeated attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Following his orders, all soldiers in the division will pass all necessary combat courses to prepare themselves for these situations. The lessons will focus on kidnapping attempts of all types, including from vehicles and face-to-face and cover the best way to deal with them.

The Physical Training division officers began work earlier this week when they began teaching classes on self-defense to female officers and soldiers. On Sunday, several lessons were given to artillery battalions stationed in the region.

Since the return of Gilad Shalit, there have been more than five attempts to kidnap soldiers in the Northern Command. “You can see a direct correlation between the return of Shalit and kidnapping attempts,” said the head of the military police in the Northern Command, Lt. Col. Nir Golan. He continued to explain that, “terrorist organizations know that Israel is willing to pay a high price to bring their soldiers home, so their motivation is to kidnap a soldier.”

Since November, the military police has increased its enforcement and activity in the Northern Command, there have been a few dozen soldiers who have tried to hitchhike. “It is especially prevalent in places where public transportation is rare, infrequent, or even non-existence,” said Lt. Col Golan. MPs themselves now spend more hours in unmarked cars, trying to prevent soldiers from hitchhiking, than they do issuing disciplinary reports. “I’d rather take part in life-saving activities than disciplinary activities. There is no doubt that this activity raises awareness on the danger of hitchhiking,” concluded Lt. Col. Golan.