An IDF soldier in the elite Oketz unit with his dog..
(photo credit: IDF)
The Israel Defense Forces are sparing no means to ascertain the whereabouts of the three teenagers who were kidnapped earlier this month in Gush Etzion.
One of the tools at the army's disposal is man's best friend, specifically specially trained search dogs deployed by the elite Oketz Unit, one of the more well-known outfits in the IDF.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit released a clip on Thursday showing soldiers from Oketz and their four-legged comrades combing parts of Judea and Samaria in search for the boys – Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel, and Gil-Ad Shaer.
Oketz specializes in training and handling dogs for military applications. Originally, Oketz trained dogs to attack kidnappers, but training has since become more specialized, and now each dog is trained in a particular specialty.
Attack dogs are trained to operate in both urban and rural areas. The army made extensive use of the dogs in Lebanon.
Other dogs are trained to track and pursue selected targets for manhunts and to detect breaches at the Israeli border. In addition, yet more dogs are trained to search for guns and munitions, to sniff out hidden explosives, and to find people in collapsed buildings.