The IDF (Zahal) Field Intelligence Corps is responsible for monitoring Israel’s most sensitive borders. Hundreds of observers, most of them female soldiers, scan video monitors around the clock, searching for the smallest details.
These soldiers are the eyes of the nation, ensuring the safety of Israel’s civilians on a daily basis. Corporal Lihi Meir is one of the soldiers responsible for Gaza’s northern border. Pressure, adrenaline and speed – these are the words she used to describe when she spotted and thwarted a terrorist infiltration during Operation Protective Edge.
On July 8, armed terrorists attempted to infiltrate an army base through from the Mediterranean Sea. The base was located next to the sea, near Israel’s southern community of Zikim. Corporel Lihi was part of the team of observers who identified and thwarted the infiltration.
“When we identified the infiltration, we immediately realized that a very serious threat was unfolding before our eyes,” said Corporal Lihi. Infantry forces immediately arrived on the scene together with the Air Force and Navy. The terrorists were neutralized, thanks to Corporel Lihi and her team.
Cpl. Lihi Meir
“The terrorists were lying on the ground, dressed in IDF (Zahal) uniforms.”
July 21, 2014 is a day Corporal Lihi won’t forget. Around 6:30am, as she was monitoring her surveillance screen, she detected 5 moving figures. They were five terrorists who had managed to infiltrate Israel through a tunnel from Gaza.
“The terrorists were lying on the ground, wearing IDF (Zahal) uniforms, equipped with body armor, helmets and weapons. I didn’t have time to think, I just acted,” she said, recalling those crucial moments.
Corporal Lihi immediately sent IDF (Zahal) soldiers to the site of the infiltration. The soldiers neutralized two terrorist cells composed of 9 members, who were planning to carry out kidnappings and attacks in Israeli towns near the border. They thought that by wearing IDF (Zahal) uniforms, they wouldn’t be detected.
“The terrorists were neutralized and the incident was considered over, but my mission was far from being over,” said Lihi. “After the event, I went right back to my screens to keep monitoring the area, searching for threats.”
20 Years Old, Immense Responsibility
“I’m not just an observer, I’m an Israeli, and like many Israelis I went through Operation Protective Edge running in and out of bomb shelters, with the constant fear of rocket strikes or mortar shells. Our responsibility is immense. A lot of people are counting on us: both civilians living under the threat of terrorist infiltrations and rockets, and the soldiers on the ground who risk their lives to defend the country. We are responsible for all of them. We need to detect terror events before they occur.”