With the first snow that fell this week in northern Israel, the winter season has officially begun. IDF (Zahal) soldiers donned gloves and prepared to defend the northern border despite the snowstorms. The mission is not necessarily easy for a country well accustomed to beaches and good weather. Here’s how the Israeli army is preparing for winter.
“We do all we can to continue our normal routines despite the weather,” says the officer in charge of logistics in the north, Lt. Col. Eren Lapid. “We are preparing for this as we are preparing for an operation, except that it is a different enemy: we must face the cold weather, which penetrates everywhere,” he says with a smile.
Mountaineers to the rescue
As the winter intensifies, elite IDF (Zahal) climbers ensure safety in places that become inaccessible due to the white snow that covers the mountainous terrain. Snow plows are taken out of the garage in order to clear the Golan Heights. Soldiers also receive special equipment to cope with the cold, including a thermal suit, shoes and snow gloves. “We’ve even provided them with sunglasses. They are equipped like skiers, but above all they must be soldiers.”
“We also ensure that soldiers serving in the most remote corners can return home. It is important for the morale of the soldiers. In this severe climate, we do everything it takes to keep the IDF (Zahal) rolling,” said Lt. Col. Lapid.