The Year In Review
It has been a long year for everyone. Israel, and with it the Israel Dog Unit, has faced challenges unlike any in recent memory. We've met them as well as we possibly could, and the county is better off for it
This Rosh Hashana will mark one year to the day of the dramatic rescue of Mr. Avraham Gatnach, who was found dehydrated and disoriented after a day and a half of our volunteers searching for him straight through the Rosh Hashana services. He was unwell for several days afterward and required hospital care, but he survived.
When the word went out that Mrs. Esther Horgan had gone missing, we joined the midnight rush to the north Samaria, and were among the first units to venture after her into the surrounding woods.
One of our newer dogs, Sniper, led a search party to where Mr. Arnold Belinsky had become trapped in a ditch, allowing our teams to slice away the brush over him and carry him safely out of the woods.
Our search dogs found several other people over the course of the year, with the gold medal going
to Kelly, a third-generation IDU dog literally born and bred to find missing people in any terrain.
Our volunteers have been privileged to work shoulder to shoulder with the very best of Israel's emergency responders. We have rubbed shoulders with the mythical ISA and the IDF's missing-person unit, Eitan; worked alongside police rescue squads from every precinct; led the MDA and fire services to missing people; worked alongside other nongovernmental organizations hundreds of times our size. At every turn, we were hailed as the leading authority on missing people. Our volunteers at times wore neither hats nor badges but were the heroes of one incident after another nevertheless.
Our security department has been anything but idle in the last year as well. We have stood up to multiple disturbances of the peace in Samaria, holding the line in remote farms which have yet to be recognized for governmental protection; we have fought arson attacks and tracked down missing livestock; we have provided the instruction and encouragement that was so sorely lacking for some people to stand up for themselves when they were threatened; we have coordinated with the Border Police and IDF to ensure that every citizen who turned to us was afforded the protection they deserve as citizens of Israel.
At the farm of Ma'aleh Ahuvyah, we held off rioters that attempted to burn several vineyards and livestock pens until the IDF could arrive to more fully handle the situation. Stymied at the farm, the rioters instead began attacking a water tower at the other side of the highway, eventually putting it out of commission.
In Salfit, we led a counterattack against a mob that had damaged earthmoving equipment and burned thousands of shekel worth of farming supplies.
When civil unrest exploded during Operation Guardian of the Walls, we patroled the most sensitive neighborhoods, bringing peace and security to the citizens.
When our hometown of Kfar Tapuach was threatened, our drone operators were the very first to be called, and our volunteers rushed to the town's defense at all hours of the night.
When a determined group of settlers climbed a mountain called Evyatar in an attempt to build a new town atop it, it was our volunteers who patroled its perimeter for every night of a two-month-long siege. It was our volunteers who ended that siege with a fleet of drones, spotting the attackers from above and calling in the Border Police and IDF to put a stop to their activities. It was our intelligence that led to the arrest of rioters and confiscation of vehicles used to attack Evyatar.
We have taken steps to secure new residents of sensitive parts of Jerusalem when new residents were attacked with a barrage of fireworks near the Mount of Olives.
We have recently set out on a project to put a stop to agricultural sabotage in the Negev area.
Our base and vehicle fleet are expanding, and we have created and refined digital tools for all our purposes.
We have developed a program by which dogs can be used to combat the deadly pandemic sweeping the world.
We have faced many challenges, on every possible level, and we have prevailed.
We will continue to do so.