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Watch: Israel’s Border Police new intricate training arenaIn order to contend with frequent stabbings and lone-wolf terror attacks, which brought Israel’s Border Police to the spotlight, a new and highly complex training facility recently opened in the Judean desert in Southern Israel. The arena includes greenhouses with exact replicas of frequent terror attack sites in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Watch: Israel Border Police simulating terror attacks
The Israel Border Police presented its brand-new training facility in the heart of the Judean desert. Following months of construction, an arena that looks more like a Hollywood set is now open for training. It was designed specifically for training purposes for scenarios that have become more frequent recently, namely lone wolf terror attacks, including stabbings and shootings.
The vast arena includes exact replicas of Damascus Gate from Jerusalem’s Old City as well as a Tel Aviv shopping and restaurant area. “The idea was to bring the field to the trainees in the training facility,” explained Commander of Israeli Border Police Yaakov (Kobi) Shabtai, who is behind the unique project. “We took areas that we consider to be sites for operational scenarios and replicated them into a facility that enables us to train around the clock.”
The training facility was designed with great attention to the tiniest of details, including authentic odors and background noises. “An officer who entered the street here, as soon as he’s out in the field, he will feel he was already there. It will not be his first experience patrolling an alley,” said Shabtai, explaining the rationale behind the meticulous sets. The project came to life with the help of Shabtai’s partner and vision sharer Israel Police Chief General Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, who supported it along the way.
The training in the three greenhouses began last week. The first stage of the project is dedicated to the training of all operational soldiers in the police and border police who operate and reinforce in and around Jerusalem. The next stage will include the training of all police operational units. The trainees carry out various drills, including a scenario of a complex terror attack at the replica of Damascus Gate, the main site for training operational Border Police stationed in Jerusalem. “The terrorists are learning, we need to learn too,” said Sergeant Major Yossi Balata. “They’re coming not only with a knife. It’s a knife and weapons and combined attacks.”
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