They seek for explosives and are the primary members of the Israeli navy to enter tunnels and different areas that might have traps within the Gaza Strip.
Israel is relying closely on canine in its navy marketing campaign to push Hamas and different militant teams out of Gaza’s maze of tunnels and blasted buildings. “Canines are doing wonderful work,” the Israeli navy’s chief spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stated in a briefing on Friday, after the navy launched a video of a canine exploring a tunnel.
However the canine unit additionally attracts criticism. Israel says its canine assist elite commando items and save the lives of troopers. Critics say the canine are used improperly to intimidate folks.
The usage of canine got here again into the highlight this week when Admiral Hagari stated that the military not too long ago despatched a canine, outfitted with a video digicam, right into a constructing advanced to clear the world. The canine was shot and killed, and the animal’s encounter with militants was recorded by the digicam.
The digicam, later recovered, additionally captured the voices of three Israeli hostages who had been believed to have escaped after troopers killed the militants. The video grew to become a key piece of proof later, after the hostages had been mistakenly shot and killed by Israeli troopers, as a result of it confirmed that the Israeli navy had come near discovering the hostages earlier than they had been killed.
Canines have misplaced their lives in Israel’s navy, often known as the Israeli Protection Forces. In November, the Israeli navy posted on social media concerning the deaths of 4 canine that helped uncover booby traps and stockpiles of weapons. “Specifically skilled canine play an important position within the I.D.F.’s operational actions inside Gaza,” the put up famous.
About 100 troopers yearly are drafted for a 16-month coaching course to hitch Israel’s canine unit, Israeli navy spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht stated.
The Israeli navy’s use of canine has been criticized. At a briefing on Sunday, Hussam Abu Safiya, head of the pediatric division of Kamal Adwan hospital in Gaza, accused the Israeli navy of unleashing assault canine in a raid on the hospital and referred to as for a world investigation, Turkish media reported. The Israeli navy raided the hospital over a number of days final week. A navy spokesman didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
In September, earlier than the warfare in Gaza started, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported on troopers looking out the house of Palestinians within the West Financial institution utilizing a canine to intimidate feminine members of the family. It was one in every of a number of incidents involving navy canine to generate headlines in Israel through the years.
Canines have a protracted historical past of taking part in navy conflicts, going way back to 600 B.C. In 1942, the USA created the primary official canine military unit, and American particular forces used canine within the raids that killed the Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in 2011 and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the Islamic State, in 2019.
Nonetheless, this observe is controversial — the animals don’t have a authorized standing and are basically gear or know-how, and don’t enlist voluntarily. Like people, canine can grow to be traumatized by warfare and bear psychological scars from their work.