Southern Command takes on defensive measures

IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

The Southern Command will complete paving a road to protect southern Israel residents from anti-tank missiles and other threats

Date: 26/06/2011, 5:32 PM     Author: Florit Shoihet

The IDF (Zahal)’s Southern Command is paving a secure road for the citizens of Nahal Oz (a kibbutz in southern Israel). The road will be safe from anti-tank missiles such as the one launched at a school bus in April, and the aim is that residents will be able to drive on the road with no fear. The road, stretching three kilometers long, will be ready for use by residents this month. Its creation began with the end of the escalating situation in the Gaza Strip region.

The road is not safeguarded by cement walls or by tanks but simply takes advantage of a unique geographical location, a sort of fold of land. The fold is such that terror groups trying to launch anti-tank missiles who depend on eyesight alone don’t pose a threat.

 “It’s one of the most resourceful ideas that we’ve had,” says the division’s head engineering commander, Maj. Kobi Cohen. “Ultimately, it’s important to remember that this is a civilian area and that it’s not a closed military zone. The commanders felt an obligation to the area’s citizens, whose morale was struck when the anti-tank missile was launched at the children’s school bus,” he explained.

The secure road was one of the engineering force’s early contingency plans. The force began researching the subject of protecting communities and bases after the Hamas terrorist organization’s first attempt to fire a Kornet missile on a tank in the Gaza Strip region last December. The Commander of the Engineering Corps, Col. Ilan Sabag, convened as many experts on the subject as possible including architects, researchers and engineers, who presented solutions to take on the threat of the anti-tank missile.

The division’s engineering force has also taken on a wide array of defense projects for areas under terrorist threat around the Gaza Strip including bus stations and main junctures. The areas, vulnerable to missiles launched by terror groups, are protected by wide cement panels, keeping residents safe who might be in danger of direct hits by missiles and shrapnel.