NalaIsraeli Dog Unit

It has been cleared for publication that on Friday, five illegal residents penetrated from the Palestinian city of Qalqilya to the city of Tzur Yitzhak in the Menashe region. They were stopped by Nala, a security dog from the Israel Dog Unit, as well as the civilian security team of Tzur Yitzhak.

At approximately 7:00 Friday morning, the perimeter monitoring systems of Tzur Yitzhak were triggered by the suspects approaching the city on an informal road through a gap in the security fence. They were dressed in black and carrying bags on their backs. They were determined to be Palestinian Authority citizens without a valid work permit for being in Israel, known colloquially as shabahim.

N., the civilian security coordinator of Tzur Yitzhak, rushed to the area, along with Nala. The suspects fled as he approached and exited his vehicle, at which point he released Nala, who was in the vehicle as well.

Nala caught and neutralized three of the suspects to allow N. to effect an arrest. Two additional suspects who fled in a different direction were caught by other security forces responding to the incident. The suspects were taken for questioning by security forces.

In an interview with Israel National News, N. says that his work with the Israel Dog Unit (IDU), a nonprofit specializing in security dogs, has helped him and Nala to prepare for incidents such as this one. “I once tried to train Nala for rescue work and detection as well as security. When I came to the IDU, the training team there helped me focus my efforts on the security work that I would be doing most of the time. We began massive rounds of training, and that helped get me used to working with Nala in security situations and taught Nala how to pursue and engage suspects as she did on Friday. I owe a lot to the IDU.”

Regarding the shabahim, N. says: ‘‘Because our city has a forest, there are lots of places they can hide from security forces. They wait until they think they are alone, cut holes in the fence, and come in. Some have criminal records or are wanted by the ISA. Every one of them must be considered a terrorist until we have thoroughly searched him and determined that he is not a threat.’’