Israeli's Jewish young people are not the only ones who protect the Holy Land as members of the IDF. Today, Ynet News' Yishai Porat tells us the touching story of a Palestinian young man from the Jerusalem area who recently finished his IDF training and will now protect Israel's people, whatever their background:
T., a 19-year-old from the Jerusalem area, where clashes with police is a regular occurence, decided four months ago in an unprecedented move to join the Border Police. On Wednesday he is expected to participate in a graduation ceremony from basic training where he will receive a combat pin.
Although the teenager says it's "a privilege to serve my country,” his family, especially his mother is less enthusiastic. She has an excuse prepared for anyone asking about his whereabouts. “She tells everyone that I study at university,” T. explained laughingly.
Due to fears that his enlistment will be uncovered, the logistics of returning home on weekends are complex. "I leave the base wearing the uniform and change to civilian clothes at the central bus station. Then, a friend of mine picks me up and drops me off at the house," he said, adding, "I’m not afraid for myself, but rather for my family.”
T. was born in northern Israel and when he was 4 years old, his parents moved to an area near Jerusalem. Since he is an only child, his mother had to sign and approve his service in a combat unit.
When his father died of cancer eight years ago, T. became the sole breadwinner of the family. "My mother works a bit and also receives payments from the National Insurance Institute. I used to work as a waiter and at various hotels.
At the age of 12, he knew he wanted to join the Border Police...