How the Northern Command prepares for violent riot threats

Chief of Staff inspects border, Friday (March 30)

Our Northern Command reporter joins field intelligence soldiers in the region as they carefully monitor Land Day events as the unfold in real time

Date: 01/04/2012, 12:20 PM     Author: Matan Galin

The IDF (Zahal) prepared for violent, illegal riots expected to take place on Friday (March 30) on the Palestinian Land Day in both the Judea and Samaria region and northern Israel. The rioters turned violent, throwing rocks, firebomb and blazing tires at IDF (Zahal) soldiers and security forces who responded with non-lethal riot dispersal means to pacify the incidents. These events are part of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), an effort by Arabs and international activists to reach Jerusalem and “steal it from the hands of the illegal Zionist occupation.”

Preparations at the Northern Command were exceptionally thorough, as the field intelligence forces showed alertness and vigilance, continually observing enemy forces and translating the information they gathered, in real time, into quality intelligence information.

How the Northern Command prepares for violent riot threats

Overall the incidents were contained, especially in northern Israel where the region remained calm. The IDF (Zahal) deployed forces along the border with Lebanon, in preparation for major disturbances. The concern was that, as reported in the media, thousands of Lebanese demonstrators would make the steep 12-kilometer trek from Beaufort summit to the Israeli border and attempt to breach it. The demonstration took place far from the border, which remained secure.

Northern Command Field Intelligence Brigade soldiers observed from an outpost overlooking South Lebanon. High-tech visual equipment, thermal cameras, and a variety of other advanced gear allowed these soldiers to track developments in areas where IDF (Zahal) soldiers stationed in the field could not reach.

In the early morning, the field intelligence soldiers began watching events in South Lebanon. The Lebanese army was observed deploying forces along the border. The protestors began congregating at Mount Beaufort at 9:30 AM, but IDF (Zahal) field intelligence had already alerted soldiers in the field. The media reported that there were thousands of protestors on the site, but thanks to field intelligence information, IDF (Zahal) was aware that there were only 1,500 protestors demonstrating, waving Hezbollah, Palestinian, and Lebanese flags, escorted by 40 buses.The fear was that the buses on site would transport the protestors to the border.

The soldiers at the observation post worked in shifts in order to maintain full preparedness. Each soldier received a thorough survey of the present situation at the beginning of his shift.

IDF (Zahal) field intelligence reports constantly on developments in South Lebanon. These soldiers’ detailed knowledge of the terrain of South Lebanon and the developments taking place in this region provide the IDF (Zahal) with information critical to its missions. Without the aid of these “eyes” watching for them, the soldiers in the field would not be able to operate as effectively as they do.