IDF recruits trees for home defense

Army launches new program in conjunction with Jewish National Fund to make targeting Israeli homes homes harder for Gaza terrorists.

Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael plants trees along Gaza border 311 (photo credit: Courtesy/KKL)
Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael plants trees along Gaza border 311
(photo credit: Courtesy/KKL)
The IDF is known for its sophisticated and advanced technology. In the past year alone, the military deployed the Iron Dome counter-rocket defense system to intercept Katyusha rockets launched from the Gaza Strip and the Trophy active protection system that can intercept anti-tank missiles fired at Merkava tanks.
In recent months though, the IDF has decided to install a new defensive system – trees.
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“The idea is simple,” a senior officer from the IDF’s Gaza Division explained. “Trees are planted around Israeli towns and communities that are close to the border, making it more difficult for terrorists to accurately target homes and residents.”
The project was launched several months ago in conjunction with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL) – Jewish National Fund, which has been planting eucalyptus trees 16 kilometers outside communities located along the border with the Gaza Strip.
The IDF is concerned Palestinian terrorists will try to target residents of the communities with sniper fire or by launching anti-tank missiles at the homes.
In April, for example, Hamas fired an anti-tank missile at a school bus, killing 16-year-old Daniel Viflic and just moments after it dropped off a group of schoolchildren.
KKL said the eucalyptus was chosen since the trees reach heights of about eight meters, high enough to protect borderline communities. Next month, KKL plans to plant additional trees along main roads near the border in conjunction with the holiday of Tu Bishvat, marking the beginning of the new year for trees.