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Capt. of IDF unit that lost soldier to sniper: ‘We’re leaving Hebron quieter than we found it’
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
06/12/2013
Unit that lost soldier to September sniper attack has begun training ‘for all scenarios,’ company commander tells ‘Post.’
 
After seven grueling months of service in Hebron, Capt. Dvir Alami, 26, feels confident his unit is leaving the area safer than when it arrived.

Alami commands the Support Company of the Rotem Battalion, which is a part of the Givati infantry Brigade.

He and his soldiers carry out a range of specialized combat functions, many of which are classified.

Support Companies are trained to be more deadly in battle, carry heavier equipment than other infantry units, and cover a wider area, thereby serving their entire battalion.

The company was at the forefront of the IDF’s response to a recent upsurge in Palestinian rioting and terror attacks that washed over the West Bank.

In September, the unit lost St.-Sgt. Gal Kobi, who was shot dead by a sniper in Hebron while guarding the Jewish Quarter during the High Holy holidays.

“It’s no secret that the Judea and Samaria area heated up recently,” Alami told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

“Kobi joined the company to help us carry out our mission. The shooting happened in our sector. We were the first to treat him. My command post gave him first aid, and sent out the first search mission to look for the terrorists responsible. It was a very sad incident. Our soldiers saw their friend die in their arms,” Alami said.

As part of the IDF’s response to the violence, Alami’s company carried out many security raids and surprise checks, searching for weapons among Palestinians.

In recent weeks, they uncovered two bombs and a large quantity of firearms – weapons Alami said could have been used in the West Bank, or deep inside Israel.

“We stopped several terror attacks. We don’t know if the weapons were intended for use in Jerusalem, or roads in Judea and Samaria. But they were in the wrong hands, and would have been used with bad intentions,” he said.

The Support Company carried out three times as many security missions as other units in Hebron, and, according to the Judea Regional Brigade, played a key role in reducing the security threat.

“Roads that were once the scene of shooting and rock attacks have been quiet for months now,” Alami said. “We’re leaving with the sense that things are quieter than when we arrived.”

The Rotem Battalion departed Hebron in recent days, and was replaced with a Nahal infantry battalion, as part of the IDF’s rotation system.

Alami’s company is currently stationed on the Golan Heights, where it is holding combat drills, the nature of which cannot be disclosed.

“We’re getting ready for all scenarios,” Alami said. “It doesn’t matter whether the [battle] arena in question is southern or northern,” he said.

The commander conceded that the change of scenery is also a chance for his soldiers to take a breather. “After a long operational stint, we can breath a little, without the tension and daily friction we experienced in Hebron,” he said.
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