Samaria governor Yossi Dagan and MKBNir Orbach with the IDU volunteers.
Samaria governor Yossi Dagan and MKBNir Orbach with the IDU volunteers. צילום: IDU public relations

Among the many new buildings in the growing city of Evyatar in Samaria is the Israel Dog Unit’s (IDU) new command center, equipped to be the nerve center of the ongoing struggle against the siege that Evyatar has faced almost since its residents broke ground.

IDU command center in Evyatar. With a ban on ordinary building materials in place, the command center was constructed with unconventional building supplies.(IDU public relations)

Despite an unusually stringent ban on bringing in new building supplies, the room has been equipped with radios, monitors, observation equipment, and all manner of supplies to keep the IDU’s fleet of drones ready to respond to threats on any side of the city.

IDU volunteers prepare equipment for another day of operations with the IDF forces in the area.(IDU public relations)

Operators in the command center are in constant contact with the IDU’s canine patrols around Evyatar’s perimeter and can easily spot suspicious movement around Evyatar and direct the relevant forces to handle any emerging situation, whether riots, infiltration attempts, or attempts to set brushfires or burn tires upwind of Evyatar to cover the city in toxic fog.

One of the observation posts in the new command center, equipped with a high-magnification camera and military-grade radio.(IDU public relations)

This new command center was inaugurated on Thursday when, in a joint operation with the IDF’s combat engineers, IDU drone pilots were able to preempt a disturbance of the peace and a massive tire-burning attempt. Several vehicles and a large supply of tires were impounded. The operation was overseen by Samaria governor Yossi Dagan and MK Nir Orbach, who expressed their admiration and encouragement for the IDU’s efforts. Governor Dagan commented “These people have taken the security of the entire city onto their shoulders, and are an example for all.”

IDU drone captures preparations for a tire-burning and roadblock. IDF forces were alerted and moved in to catch the perpetrators in the act.(IDU public relations)

More IDF and border guard personnel were assigned to the area on Friday in response to increased unrest, and the command center is in constant contact with the IDF’s officers in the area. The new command center played a central role in the observation of incidents, intelligence operations, and a dramatic drone pursuit of someone suspected of throwing stones at cars on the nearby highway.

IDU drone operators preparing for an aerial sortie.(IDU public relations)

As a critical piece of security infrastructure, the command center remained fully operational throughout Shabbat. At the IDF’s request, it will remain staffed around the clock as long as necessary.

The IDU’s efforts were rewarded; for the first time in nearly two weeks straight, Evyatar spent an entire day without being covered by the smoke from burning tires or being threatened by the brushfires that frequently accompany them.

The IDU will continue to man their command center into the next week, hoping to direct the IDF’s efforts to break the siege of the new city and bring those committing crimes against it to justice. IDU director Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov invites the Shas and Likud parties, who have scheduled visits to Evyatar tomorrow, to view the IDU’s operations, and adds that his unit has no intention of leaving their post.

“The IDF has moved multiple special units into Evyatar, but the rules of engagement of the IDF make it impossible to disperse the constant riots nearby, which are steadily increasing in size and intensity," Ben-Yakov commented. “We will continue looking out for the welfare of this growing town, even when there is one night after another of lasers and fires burning around it.”

Residents of the PA city of Beita direct dangerous high-powered laser pointers into Evyatar on a nightly basis, regardless of the risk to those in Evyatar.(IDU public relations)

“We hear rumors that the left wants to demolish Evyatar because it is too hard to defend,” Ben-Yaakov added. “This is nonsense. The IDF could quell the riots in five minutes if the politicians would allow them to do what they know how to do. We will continue to supply real-time intelligence to the troops on the ground, and to patrol vulnerable spots with our canine security teams."

Residents of Evyatar have taken to calling the IDU’s drones their city’s ‘guardian angels’. One woman commented “Usually, I’d be annoyed at always hearing drones. Now, I only sleep at night knowing they’re overhead.”