Say hello to the Kometz Unit, the IDF (Zahal)’s unsung heroes. In the dark of night, these soldiers secure the Israel-Gaza fence, ensuring the security of the country while the dangerous enemy lurks meters away.
The Combat Soldiers of the Ordnance Corps
Dodging explosives, sniper fire, bombs, and anything else Hamas militants can hurl at them; these soldiers repair and secure the Israel-Gaza fence. They are the first response to any breach due to terrorist penetration, extreme weather, or simply to replace materials that strengthen the border.The Israelis in the 64 neighboring towns may sleep better at night knowing that the fence is up, preventing infiltration, kidnappings, and shootings.
Maintenance in the Line of Fire
Most combat soldiers are only allowed 100 meters from the border and can only approach the area in armored vehicles. The Kometz Unit reaches the border itself, protected solely by their vests. Given the volatility of the border, monitoring is essential for the protection of the civilians in the surrounding area. As a result, maintenance and surveillance of the fence is crucial. The area is first examined by field observers who watch the border 24/7 to identify any irregularities. Then, the Combat Engineering Corps and the Oketz Unit – the IDF (Zahal)’s canine unit – inspect for explosives and other hidden threats. Even after taking these precautions, the Kometz soldiers are still only meters away from the enemy.
“It’s True Patriotism. This Isn’t Your Average Job.”
The soldiers understand the risks associated with their job. Sergeant 1st Class Reuben is responsible for repairing all electrical or mechanical issues the fence of the Northern Gaza Regional Brigade may have. In June 2008, he was hit by fire during an operation to fix the fence. After 9 months of rehabilitation, he returned to his unit. “People call us crazy, but the second a soldier knows the significance of his job, he looks at the fence in a completely different way.” Kometz maintains the shield defending Israel against the militants threatening us next door.
“One of the reasons we have the tunnel threat is because our fence system is so strong.”
-Staff Sergeant Shavit Siman Tov
Staff Sgt. Shavit Siman Tov is a technological instructor specializing in alert systems. Due to the success of Kometz soldiers, Hamas has resorted to digging underground. It is up to the Kometz Unit to assure that the fence on one of the most active borders is fully operational. It is up to the Kometz soldiers to fix the fence in the middle of the night as snipers aim at their backs. Their entire service is on the fence. It is in the face of imminent danger, and it is all for the sake of defending the State of Israel.