IDF Counter-Terrorism Branch Readies Israel for Next War

The Fellowship  |  July 31, 2017

Several IDF soldiers in formation late at night with an orange light cast around them.
IDF Counter-Terrorism Branch Readies Israel for Next War

Even when Israel is not in direct conflict with the many enemies that surround her and seek her destruction, elite units of the IDF are constantly working to protect the Jewish state and her people. Writing at JNS, Yaakov Lappin tells us about how the IDF’s counter-terrorism branch stays up-to-date and conducts operations on the ground:

On Friday night July 21, Maj. Hanan (full name withheld for security reasons) received word of a gruesome development.

A knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist had killed three members of an Israeli family in the settlement of Halamish. The terrorist, a 19-year-old Palestinian from a nearby village, was shot and injured by an Oketz K9 unit soldier, who lived next door. 

By the time Hanan, who heads the Counter-Terrorism Branch in the IDF’s Counter-Terrorism School, arrived at the blood-stained scene, there was little he or his soldiers could do.

“We scanned the area searching for more potential attackers, and spent the rest of Shabbat there,” he said. 

Hanan and his soldiers are not an ordinary response unit—they’re the ones responsible for training all of Israel’s elite special forces. 

“We can’t be a school that is disconnected from what is happening on the ground,” Hanan told “I arrived there with my team, and we started to work.”

The IDF’s Counter-Terrorism School, based near Modi’in in central Israel, was founded in the 1970s as a response to a wave of terrorist airplane hijackings and bus attacks. 

Since then, Hanan said, the threat has evolved in a major way, and the IDF branch’s job is to make sure that it’s up to date, as it shapes Israel’s counter-terrorism combat doctrine…