Israel Border Police Are on the Front Line

(Washington Post) Ruth Eglash - Israeli border police, with their distinct dark-green uniforms and armored police jeeps, are stationed at friction points around the country and in the West Bank. They are the brave heroes of what many have termed a "knife intifada," and the number of young Israelis wanting to join their ranks is growing. In the past six months, as Palestinians have carried out hundreds of stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks against Israelis, more than 175 border police have been injured - some seriously - and two officers have been killed as they worked to protect civilians. Despite the risks, the number of new recruits to the unit was the highest it has ever been, Israeli media reported last month. "I chose this unit because I wanted to contribute to my country," said Chen Cohen. "I couldn't see myself doing anything else. I wanted to be out in the field," said Mor Hadad, who was close friends with Hadar Cohen, who was fatally shot in Jerusalem in February. "I signed up knowing that it would be dangerous, but it's what I wanted. Now, when I go out, I think about Hadar," she said. Their motivation is high, and their motto is: "Attack us, not civilians." "Many of the attacks have been against the border police officers, but there is no other choice because civilians cannot deal with this challenge. It is the task of a country to protect its civilians, and the border police are the best trained to fight this type of war," said Shaul Shay, a lecturer at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center.

2016-04-25 00:00:00

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