The IDF is called upon to do so much for Israel and her people, from fighting wars with outside enemies to stopping terror attacks from within. The Jerusalem Post's Anna Ahronheim takes a look at the wide range of activities carried out by just one group — the 55th Artillery Corps' "Dragon" Battalion — who have spent months fighting terrorists in the West Bank and are now preparing for war to Israel's north:
After months of operational activity in the West Bank, troops from the IDF’s Artillery Corps’ 55th “Dragon” Battalion have begun three months of drills in the Jordan Valley simulating war in the North.
“We spent four months protecting civilians against terror attacks – and now we are back to drilling to be prepared if a war were to break out in the North,” Battery Commander Cpt. Alon Luria told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
The military has carried out several drills in the northern arena in recent months, as an ongoing war of words between Israel and Iran as well as the IDF’s Operation Northern Shield have increased tensions along the Jewish state’s northern border.
But tensions are not only high in the North, but in the West Bank as well, with a recent intelligence assessment by the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate warning that Israel is facing possible military escalations against Palestinian factions in both Gaza and the West Bank in 2019.
According to Luria, “the biggest challenge for troops is to always be on high alert and always be ready to stop attacks” against Israeli civilians on the roads or inside communities.
In early October, just days before the battalion was deployed to the northern West Bank, Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa walked into his former place of work at the Barkan Industrial Zone and shot dead Kim 29-year-old Levengrond-Yehezkel of Rosh Ha’ayin, and 35-year-old Ziv Hagbi from Rishon Lezion.
A week later, a Palestinian tried to stab a soldier standing at a bus stop at the busy Gitai Avishar Junction on Highway 5 before being shot dead by troops belonging to Luria’s battalion...