IDF (Zahal) soldiers were busy this month, thwarting potentially serious terror attacks and rescuing Palestinian and Israeli civilians from major flooding. They even found time to vote in Israel’s elections. Here’s what the IDF (Zahal) was doing in January 2013:

January 10: IDF (Zahal) Captain Saves Palestinians Trapped in Floodwater

In the second week of 2013, the biggest winter storm in a decade hit Israel. When Captain Adiya Hazani, a company commander responsible for an area covering Jenin and Tulkarem, heard that a group of Palestinians were stranded in a flood, he and his men were ready to help. Hazani saved the lives of each member of the group, putting his own safety at risk.

Over the next couple of days, IDF (Zahal) forces rescued civilians trapped by floods across the country.

Israel Defense Forces: January 2013

Cpt. Hazani approaches a car stuck in floodwater.

January 13: IDF (Zahal) Soldiers Vote

Israeli citizens took a day off work and went to the polls to choose a new government. IDF (Zahal) soldiers voted in special polling stations placed on bases across the country, including this soldier in the Caracal battalion:

January 15: IDF (Zahal) Discovers Gaze-Made Tunnel With Exit in Israeli Territory

A potential kidnapping attempt was thwarted when during a routine patrol of the Gaza security fence, IDF (Zahal) soldiers discovered the exit of a tunnel dug from the Gaza Strip. The tunnel was large enough to carry people, and indicates a serious attempt by terrorist groups, led by Hamas, to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers. A similar tunnel was used in the kidnapping of Sgt. 1st Class Gilad Shalit.

Israel Defense Forces: January 2013

The tunnel shaft discovered in Israeli territory

January 27: IDF (Zahal) Thwarts Significant Terror Attack on Israeli Community

When IDF (Zahal) soldiers arrested two Palestinians after they hurled firebombs at an IDF (Zahal) post in Judea and Samaria, they discovered this letter on the scene. It was written by the Al-Aqsa Brigade, which declared intent to carry out a terror attack in Alon Moreh, a nearby Israeli community:

Israel Defense Forces: January 2013

A letter found in the scene, declaring intent to carry out a terror attack

January 31: News Released: IDF (Zahal) & ISA Uncover Hamas Terrorist Assets in Hebron

In a joint operation, the IDF (Zahal) and ISA arrested approximately 20 terrorists affiliated with Hamas, and a cache of ammunition that included more than 10 different types of weapons. The group had been planning to kidnap an IDF (Zahal) soldier and use her or him as a bargaining chip for the release of Hamas prisoners. The operation took place over recent months and was announced on the 31st.

Israel Defense Forces: January 2013

A variety of ammunition discovered in Hamas’ possession