“We do all that is asked of us”
The IAF has been executing missions that involve transmitting information from “KingAir” planes to ground forces and supporting ground activities using the two-way radio
The commander of the IAF arrived in Hebron over the weekend to talk with the troops and learned about the complexity of the territory In addition to the IAF’s activities in the Gaza Strip this past weekend, the IAF’s intelligence effort to locate the boys who went missing in Gush Etzion continues. The IAF isengaged in many activities in reconnaissance missions as well as ground operations of the “Kingfisher” commando unit and Unit 669. Together with IDF forces, IAF hopes to find a clue
Since the beginning of Operation “Brother’s Keeper”, IAF aircrafts have carried out a sequence of constant operations in the skies above the West Bank to provide assistance, the Transport Helicopter squadrons have been transporting troops and soldiers from the “Kingfisher” commando and 669 units have joined the search-and-arrest missions in the cities.
Intelligence squadrons of the force’s bases, Sde Dov, Palmachim and Tel Nof, have been working since Friday morning to collect intelligence in the West Bank using “KingAir” and “Beechcraft” planes and UAVs. In the field of reconnaissance, they track people wanted by authorities and cars and perform surveillances of houses. In addition, they accompany ground forces from the air during arrests and patrols. During arrests, they ensure that the wanted individual does not escape from the house and if he does escape, they track him from the air until he is caught. The activities are performed in close cooperation with Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) and with Special Forces in the field.
Additionally, the IAF has been executing missions that involve transmitting information from “KingAir” planes to ground forces and supporting ground activities using the two-way radio. UAV squadrons have been dispatched to areas near the scene of the event and UAV operators have been trying to give another perspective to forces in the field. According to Major Omer, the first Deputy Squadron Commander of the “First UAV” squadron, “we took part in a large number of activities and every day we accompany the arrests and the activities that bring preliminary intelligence and guidance in real time, which makes our participation critical and full of contribution. The pace of events is really quick and especially at night because of the large number of arrests”.
The Transport Helicopter squadrons have transported ground forces in Hebron and hundreds of soldiers have been transported during the operation began. The squadrons are on alert in the air in case the need arises to perform a chase after a suspect. From the beginning of the operation, the Special Forces from Unit 669 joined the patrolling forces in the field and have provided a solution to complex scenarios involving cisterns and underground tunnels. The mission involves crowded and complex terrain that contains challenges and dangers. Until now, close to 100 cisterns and wells have been searched. “Kingfisher” commando forces have performed arrests as part of the campaign against “Hamas” movement and have been partners in the search and rescue effort. The mission has been very careful and accurate and has been conducted in close cooperation between forces patrolling in the field and those performing the search-and-arrest missions.
The commander of the IAF arrived in Hebron over the weekend to talk with the troops and learned about the complexity of the territory and about the tight cooperation between the forces in the field. The aerial intelligence is a significant component in the field and the activities will continue as needed.
In addition to the IDF activity in the West Bank, the IAF operated in the Gaza Strip over the weekend. Two centers of terrorist activity and a site for the production and storage of weapons in the Gaza Strip were attacked on Friday night by IAF aircrafts. This attack came after two terrorists, Osama Hasumi and Mohamed Fasih, were killed in Northern Gaza Strip. The terrorists were involved in rocket fire on Israeli territory in recent weeks and were involved in planning serious terrorist attacks against the residents of the State of Israel over the past few days. The attacks were carried out in response to rockets fired on Israeli territory.