Wednesday, May 12, 2021

"The Arabs are more frightened of one dog than 20 cops."


On social media outlets, Arab forums in Lod expressed shock and anger about the Israel Dog Unit (I.D.U.) canine teams that deployed in Lod to help quell the Arab riots and to protect the besieged Jewish residents. 

Over the past few days Arabs have been rioting, burning Jewish property, beating Jews and torching synagogues and Jewish institutions in major cities throughout Israel with mixed Arab and Jewish populations, such as Jerusalem, Acco and Ramla.

    Lod however, has been hit the hardest. There, many Jews were so intimidated by the violent Arab mobs, that they remained in their homes, frightened to leave even to seek safety from missiles launched from Gaza, despite the code red sirens that were sounded as deadly rockets landed nearby.


  The  IDU which is better known for the their Search and Rescue operations to find missing people were called into Lod by community leaders and local residents to help protect Jews and Jewish institutions.  Local residents cheered on the IDU canines and volunteers  as well as Yeshiva students who came from Yitzhar in the Shomron. David Ostreicher, a local yeshiva student said, "How ironic that these "brave" cowards cower before the dogs, hey, whatever works. The Arabs are more frightened of one dog than 20 cops." On social media outlets, Arab forums in Lod expressed shock and anger about the Israel Dog Unit (I.D.U.) canine teams that deployed in Lod to help quell the Arab riots and to protect the besieged Jewish residents.                     


                    (See here the video on the right which caused a stir on many Arab media forums as seen in the WhatsApp screenshot on the left.)

"The IDU has yet to turn down any call for help" says Mike Ben-Yaakov, commander of the IDU, "How can we turn our back on the many who cried out for our help?" Moshe C a local 91 year old Holocaust survivor whom the IDU escorted out of Lod into safety - after a petrol bomb was hurled near his home - said, "this pogrom is reminiscent of Krystall-nacht, I never thought I would live through this again in Eretz Israel."

    The dogs were not the only ones who came to Lod last night. PM Netanyahu also arrived on the scene to show solidarity.

    Thank G-d, IDU dogs and handlers arrived home safely, however, one of the vehicles was hit, not by rocks, but by shrapnel from a Hamas rocket launched from Gaza that was intercepted overhead.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Israel dog unit thwarting terror, finding missing people, enlisting human-planes and more

 Israel Channel 11 airs a great 7-minute piece featuring the IDU

Checkout the below link of TV special on IDU– with English subtitles.

Shabbat earthquake felt in Israel raises concerns at IDU HQ
An earthquake that struck Turkey Saturday afternoon was felt in parts of northern Israel.
The epicenter of the temblor was offshore near the Turkish city of Alanya. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage anywhere. Residents in northern Israel reported feeling the quake.

The IDU continues to ready its search dogs and volunteers for a potential earthquake. "Better to be ready, than to be caught off guard. In Israel, we are the best at responding to emergencies only after they have already happened. The fact is - that if scientists are right and Israel soon experiences a more severe earthquake, G-d forbid, thousands of bodies and thousands of additional people, still alive, could be trapped under the rubble. Massive rocket attacks could wreak similar havoc. Every operational search and rescue dog that is properly trained by the IDU, can save many, many lives," said Moshe Ben Israel, IDU spokesperson.

IDU security dogs and handlers fight off Arab marauders at Ariel outpost until IDF arrives
Nov 30, approximately 80 Arabs attacked 3 Jews on a new government authorized farm-village near Ariel. The Arabs injured one of the Jewish farmers and caused thousands of dollars of damages to  the Jewish property after hurling fire-bombs at vehicles and equipment. The farmers called the IDF, Police and IDU for help. The IDU arrived first on the scene after three handlers and security dogs were dispatched from the nearby Tapuach IDU HQ. The dogs and handlers "made seder" - diffused the mayhem, pushing back the Arab attackers, until the IDF arrived.

Thwarting terror attacks – aiding IDF at checkpoints with weapons-sniffing IDU service dogs
Nov 24, the Israeli media reported that Arabs planted several roadside bombs in the Binyamin Region, near Shilo and Kochav Hashachar. In wake of the Arab attacks, the Israel Dog Unit was asked to provide a canine team - dog and handler to help detect guns and explosives at busy Shomron Junction Checkpoints. See attached photos.

IDU helps apprehend Arab spy – collecting sensitive security information on "settlement" and army security installations in Gush Etzyon
Nov. 19, military censors allowed to publicize the apprehension of several Arab terrorists who were plotting to commit terrorist attacks in the Gush Etzyon Region. Several months ago the IDU conducted a successful surveillance operation and ambush with specially trained dogs, playing a key role in the detection and arrest of an Arab terrorist who had been filming Judean towns and security installations. This all occurred several months before the current headline hit the press and passed through military censorship. Unfortunately, we are not at liberty to share pics of the apprehension of the Arab terror suspect.

IDU finds and rescues missing people
This month we succeeded in saving the lives of at least three missing people, one of whom is a professor at University of Haifa who had gone missing in the wilderness behind his home in Nesher. Another, a former professor of psychology who recently had a stroke that left him with cognitive impairment and degeneration.

The IDU continues to provide free shows on behalf of special needs children and adults
Nov 9th the Efrat branch of the IDU held a special dog-show for special needs kids and adults in Efrat. Chanukah, another big IDU show on behalf of special-needs children and adults is planned for Modiin Elite's 'Notnim" organization.

Nov. 8th IDU delivered another dog to the Lial Pre- Military Academy in the Jordan Valley
The joint program between the IDU and the Lial Pre-military Academy kicked off another year of a joint program in which the IDU provides dogs and training to cadets at Lial, who in turn volunteer  their services on security and SAR operations. The IDU dispatched "Juno" a feisty Belgium Shepherd to the Lial Academy. Achiya, Talmon and Bat Ayin have requested security dogs. The IDU hopes to dispatch new dogs to these areas, and to deploy them with security personnel there to begin their advanced training, to provide much needed additional security to these towns.

The IDU HQ provided a drone and a new drone course to Gush Etzyon IDU branch
Nov. 5th after adding an additional drone to the IDU's fleet of drones, the unit placed a drone with the Gush Etzyon-Efrat branch, and enlisted six new future "pilots" from Efrat-Gush Etzyon. The new "pilots in training" entered a course that will provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills to fly the drones on security and SAR operations. 

Motorized Person Plane
IDU adds PPR Motorized Person Planes
The newest addition to the IDU is not a bird and it's not a plane but rather a motorized-person-plane. This new department will surely boost the IDU capabilities on searches for missing people or detection of suspicious movement on the ground below, enabling the IDU to hover close to the ground and fly as far as 100 kilometers covering area far quicker and further than drones could,while swiftly covering ground that we might not be able to cover completely with horses, dogs and jeeps 


Article about IDU in 'Yisrael Hayom', Israel's largest daily newspaper, Dec. 4th 2020, L'Minyanam

THE IDU is in DESPERATE NEED of additional FINANCIAL SUPPORT during these difficult and challenging Corona Virus times. There are more security and SAR emergencies than ever. In many instances we are the first and last line of defense for many towns that rely upon us to help prevent terror attacks and infiltrations. With regard to search and rescue of missing people the IDU continues to save lives and to provide a service that no other unit is able to provide.

Please make a generous contribution to help save lives in Israel with the IDU.

To join the IDU or to donate to the emergency crowdfunding campaign to raise urgently needed funds to keep the unit 
afloat please visit and forward the link to the emergency crowd funding campaign.

Friday, October 30, 2020

IDU News: Israel Dog Unit receives awards, and continues to find missing people and to defend the people of Israel

Since our last news brief, the last few weeks have been majorly successful ones for the Israel Dog Unit.
IDU Recieves award from Bnai Brak Police Chief Oct 27 Lminyanam
For finding missing person Chaim Weizman Levi (alive) in Tel Aviv Oct 7.

IDU briefs and directs IDF soldiers and police during Carmiel search Oct 26.

After more than 24 hours of searching for 24 yr old Doron Reichsveld in The Hilazone Valley, Carmiel, police called in the IDU to run the search. Carmiel Police Commander of Operations called Mike Ben-Yaakov, the head of the IDU asking for him for help saying: "Mike, we have tried everything and Doron is nowhere to be found, we even sent in police canines, we need your help." Mike immediately headed out from the Tapuach base to Carmiel. 

Upon arrival, the police chief of Carmiel requested that the IDU take over the search and put at the IDU's disposal dozens of IDF troops from the Home Front Command who were also sent in to assist. Mike sent out several search teams, each with a IDU tracking dog and handler at the head. Within 40 minutes of their deployment, the missing person's body was recovered dead in the valley.

Unit continues expanding at unprecedented speed
The building in the Tapuach base is continuing to facilitate the rapid growth of the unit. And the purchase of an additional drone brings our drone fleet to four, two of which have sophisticated thermal imaging cameras enabling night-time searches.

IDU now officially receives recognition to enlist volunteers into National Service
Sherut Leumi - the government branch responsible for all national service volunteers, now offers thousands of youth, age 18 to 23, the option to fulfil their national service in the IDU - Israel Dog Unit. Our first three national-service volunteers joined hundreds of non-commisioned volunteers among the ranks of the IDU. Dozens more have applied for the next National Service September draft date.

To donate:

Friday, October 9, 2020

IDU News: From responding to Arab terror arson, to finding missing people and a doggy acrobatic show for special needs children...action packed week

 The week of Sukkot in review:

A week to remember for the IDU and all of those who benefited from our unique life-saving services

                                                                  IDU Finds Chaim Weizman Levy

Thursday evening, after searching for Chaim Weizman Levy, and after all of the other units had given up hope, we had a major breakthrough and we were able to find Chaim. IDU volunteers then brought Chaim to Ichilov Hospital after sharing some kosher pizza and cola with him. It appears that this was the first meal Chaim had for quite a while. 

The IDU took the case very seriously; especially in view of the fact that all of Chaim's relatives live abroad, and we feared that Chaim, 67, had suffered from memory loss and was in need of help. Immediately after we found Chaim, we phoned his children and brother in Ohio and put them back in touch.

                                    IDU responds to terror arson attack in Gush Etzyon

Matan, Chief of security for Kibbutz Nahal Oz with Zayid the dog he received from the IDU responding to Arab arson attack in forest near the kibbutz, located in Gush Etzyon

IDU cheers up special needs children with an acrobatic dog show in Jerusalem

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Only in Israel. Young Oleh from The Lower East Side of Manhattan saves an elderly missing oleh from Ethiopia

 A Rosh Hashanah that changed Bram and his friend's lives and the lives of those who they helped rescue              
        From the Lower East Side of Manhattan to Israel
The following is a short diary of events depicting the life-saving journey of Bram a Jewish kid who hails from the Lower East Side of New York City, and who succeeded in saving a life of an Ethiopian Jew in Israel, Rosh Hashanah, marking his 4th successful mission and find with the IDU, Israel's lead civilian canine security and SAR unit.
 Just as they were settling down for dinner, the rest of their Chag and their plans were changed completely. Known as the busiest day of the week, Friday, September 18th 2020 –coupled with Erev Rosh Hashanah- was no exception. Especially for the volunteers at the Israel Dog Unit HQ, located in Kfar Tappuach of the Shomron. After cooking, cleaning, organizing, shopping, taking care of the dogs, conducting basic maintenance, along with a whole horde of other chores and errands – including dealing with 2 high risk missing person cases – the members of the IDU's 24-hour emergency response team had a collective sigh of relief as they were finally able to wish their families a final "shanah tova" and head up to the synagogue for Shabbat/Rosh Hashanah prayers. Finally, after a tough, hectic, hardworking day, these special volunteers who devote their every spare minute to the lifesaving activities of the IDU would be able to enjoy a nice and peaceful holiday meal and welcome in the new year. However, what they did not know, was that this vision of a serene, peaceful non-eventful holiday 
was not to be.

Called out to a rescue operation during Rosh Hashanah Dinner.
Just as they were settling down for dinner, the rest of their Chag was changed completely. All of the jovial conversation quickly went silent as the volunteers heard the emergency phone line ring from the other room. On the other end was policeman Guy of the Lod Police Department informing them of the disappearance of Avraham Gitnekh, a 65-year-old dementia patient who left his house Thursday at 12:00 PM (almost 2 days earlier) not to be seen since! The volunteers present looked to Mike Ben-Yaakov, Commander and Founder of the IDU, for the next steps. Ben-Yaakov quickly identified the case as a high risk and proceeded to deploy David and Yosef, 2 experienced IDU volunteers, equipped with a SAR dog and a thermal camera mounted on a drone. At about 5:00 AM Shabbat morning, David and Yosef returned after covering their assigned areas; unfortunately, without any news on Avraham, the missing person. As per the plan, David and Yosef woke the second shift of volunteers, including Commander Ben-Yaakov, who packed the van with the necessary dogs, food and equipment in order to be able to independently set up a complete search HQ for an indefinite amount of time.
A few hours later, Ben-Yaakov and the volunteers with him arrived at the Lod Police Station where the local police chief allocated the precinct conference room to the IDU team from which to conduct the search for Avraham. IDU navigators immediately started examining maps and identifying the relevant areas.  Martin and Joseph two local Tel Aviv dog- handlers were sent to do a couple of relevant areas north of Avraham's house while 2 more volunteers, Bram and Yitzy, were sent with SAR dog Yenta to cover the south.

Guy asked Mike to deploy additional dog-handlers and drones in Kiryat Gat, Avraham's likely destination, as he lived in Kiryat Gat from the moment he made Aliya from Ethiopia in the mid-1980s. He had only moved to Lod three weeks prior to his disappearance.
Zev and Bnaya from the IDU's Gush Etzyon branch, were sent to meet Guy at a bus stop on Kiryat Gat, where clothing had been spotted that resembled the clothing that Avraham was seen in on the security cameras outside of his home. The Gush Etzyon team search nearby orchards, without any sign of Avraham, and then moved on to join the Tapuach and Tel Aviv IDU teams at the IDU command center in the Lod police station.

Missing for two days, the clock was ticking, not in Avraham's favor, in the boiling heat
 At this point it was a full 2 days after Avraham's disappearance and he was considered to be in very grave danger. As Bram, Yitzy and SAR dog Yenta approached their assigned area, they realized that from the attempted point of entry the area was mostly fenced off. They logically decided to split up and go along the perimeter of the area in different directions searching all entry points on the way. As Yitzy and SAR dog Yenta headed east, Bram headed south and soon found a suitable entry point to a very interesting abandoned parking lot, overgrown and unmaintained: a perfect example of where a missing dementia patient, such as Avraham, could be slowly dehydrating in and waiting for help. However, after searching the area very efficiently, making sure to check every possible rock and tree where Avraham could be, Bram left the area convinced that Avraham was not there. Another 200 yards down, now heading east, Bram happened upon another entry point: an unkempt trail going around a small hill with a very steep drop into a jungle of thick thorns and brush. Fearing that Avraham could have fallen into the unfriendly plants, Bram quickly started battling his way through the valley, searching every possible plant.

The missing person was found alive.
After about 50 yards of this, Bram exited the thorns and proceeded to return to the trail only to be pleasantly surprised by a man with Avraham's description lying on the ground just a few feet away! After sending his findings to the search HQ, Bram realized that the man, presumed to be Avraham, was extremely dehydrated from lying in the sun for so long without water. He gently carried him to a shady spot not too far away and proceeded to give him to drink from his own water supply. Soon after, the police came with a family member who confirmed that the man found was indeed Avraham and quickly rushed him to an ambulance from where he was then taken to the hospital.
Bram and the other volunteers who were then searching proceeded to return to the police station where the search was headquartered to celebrate the happy ending of this intense episode as well as the remainder of Shabbat and the Chag.  G-d works in mysterious ways. Amir Ohana, Israel's minister of Internal Security, came to visit the Corona check points in Lod and to meet with Lod's Chief of Police, who congratulated the police and the IDU volunteers on the impressive find and for saving Avraham's life. However, the story does not end here!

This was only the beginning of an adventurous Rosh Hashanah
After the celebrating, the IDU team packed up all the dogs and equipment to head back to base in case of another search. They didn’t have to wait long. About 20 minutes into the drive home, the phone rang once again. This time the call came from Dudi Mayblum, Head of the IDU's northern branch, informing the carload of volunteers about a missing Alzheimer's patient, Moshe Senior, in the Neve Chof neighborhood of Rishon Letzion. Without missing a beat, Commander Mike Ben-Yaakov along with the eager volunteers, turned around the van, and headed out to the area of the search. Once arriving, Ben-Yaakov got ahold of the policeman in charge of the search who then relayed the relevant information. After learning all that he needed to know, Ben-Yaakov then deployed the volunteers in the car with him along with others who arrived on their own. After about an hour of searching, Commander Ben-Yaakov received the good news that Mr. Senior was found alive.
After receiving the good news, it seemed that the IDU team, exhausted from a long day, would finally be able to return home. Once the IDU team returned to their base in Kfar Tappuach of the Shomron, they quickly took care of the dogs who were also exhausted, before finally sitting down to make Kiddush, eat something and enjoy the rest of the Chag. This was already long after midnight. However, just as they were making Kiddush, the phone rang for the third time. Calling from Nahariya in the north, a young lady informed Commander Ben-Yaakov of the disappearance of her grandfather Vladimir Freifeld, an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient, who rode off on his bicycle and hadn't been seen for 18 hours. Ben-Yaakov quickly dialed IDU North who proceeded to search the relevant areas until Vladimir was ultimately found alive. We say many times in the Rosh Hashana prayers, the books of life and death are open before G-d and he judges each creature individually and inscribes them for life or sadly, sometimes the alternative. With 3 high risk cases within 24-hours of each other all found alive thanks to G-d as well as His messengers in the IDU, we can say that this year, cannot be off to a better start. G-d has smiled on the respective missing people and He has smiled on the volunteers of the IDU to whom He gave the privilege of having a hand in the rescue of all three.

Where else can a Lower East Side kid join a unit, adopt a dog and start saving lives?
The IDU is more than just a national unit that saves lives with security and SAR dogs in Israel. For Bram and the other young IDU volunteers, it is a unique opportunity of a life-time to be a part of an operational unit that engages in security and search and rescue missions every day. For Bram this was his fourth find. Not bad for a 19-year-old immigrant from the Lower East side who moved to Passaic before making his journey to Israel. Bram has had no shortage of adventure and adversary since he moved to Israel almost two years ago, studying in the pre-military academy at Keshet in the Golan. He was one of Israel's first Corona patients, labeled patient 260. He beat Corona, with G-d's help and now he continues to save the lives of others in Israel.

Israeli Police Thank The I.D.U. For Saving a Missing Person's Life

 Incredible footage from the award ceremony at the Lod police station Sept 24, 2020 LMinyanam

 IDU Spokesman: 

Despite the spectre of COVID-19, an emotionally charged ceremony was held this morning at the Lod Police Station where the family of a missing person met the IDU dog handlers who saved him. 

Lod Police Chief, Superintendent Shimon Dahan, together with Superintendent Guy Bacchar, Cheif of Operations, presented certificates of appreciation and esteem to Israel Dog Unit volunteers for their resourcefulness and success in locating the missing Darba Avraham Gatenach, age 65, after he became disoriented and found himself lost in deep brush on Rosh Hashana Eve. 

Two days after Avraham went missing, the family and the forces whom had been searching for him had resigned themselves to the conclusion that they would no longer find their dear Avraham alive due to the harsh heat wave at the time. The Israel Dog Unit refused to surrender and pushed on with the search.

After deploying many volunteers for hours in the intense heat, Avraham was finally found alive, by Bram Settenbrino of the IDU. Bram found him lying on the ground, dehydrated and exposed to the blaring sun for more than two days. Bram then proceeded to carry him to a shady spot and called emergency services who quickly came and gave him medical attention before whisking him off to the hospital where he is currently rehabilitating.

In a rare display of gratitude, IDU commander Mike Ben-Yaakov fastened the IDU's pin to both Chief Superintendant Dahan and Superintendant Bachar to thank them for their cooperation, saying "You too deserve recognition for being a precinct that knows the value of the life of a missing person, and for taking the initiative to call on professionals with the ability to succeed in that task and provide them the required environment - which in this case included the use of the station's command center. It would have been very difficult to continue the search otherwise."

Chief Superintendant Dahan thanked the IDU, saying: "What sets the IDU apart from all other forces is the motivation and perseverance of its volunteers as well as it’s cutting edge technology that even the police have such as the special mobile application developed by the IDU Technology Department which helps effectively manage search operations and document all troop movement” 

Esti, Avraham’s niece, presented certificates to the station commander, as well as the IDU, and United Hatzalah, adding: "We would never have dreamed to look for Avraham in that place; without the intervention of the IDU he would have died, G-d forbid.”

To donate:

Friday, September 18, 2020

IDU Pre-Rosh HaShanah Update

July 8th, 2020: IDU Security Dog in Hebron stops Terror Attack and IDU SAR Team "refinds" missing person

July 8th "liminyanam" was an active day for the Israel Dog Unit, for both the security and search and rescue departments. The day started with a call from an IDF reserve combat platoon which spotted a person that strongly resembled Zusha Brandwein, a missing person sought after by the IDU for several months. Barak, the soldier who called in the missing person, recalled seeing Zusha's picture on an IDU flier. The IDU immediately dispatched a search team to the area and found the "missing person". However, the missing person was actually a different missing person who had been found and rescued by the IDU several years ago who had strongly resembled Zusha. After the rendezvous with T.S., our "refound" missing person, the IDU SAR team was invited for coffee by Barak and the other soldiers on their nearby base. Just as the IDU volunteers were about to perform an impromptu dog show for the IDF soldiers, a call came in from Dr. Ben-Tarya who gave us the good news that Ayeshala the IDU security dog that was stationed in his home scared away an arab terrorist squad who attempted to penetrate into the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in Hebron. Ben-Tarya thanked profusely the IDU, recalling that there have been multiple attempts to break into his home prior to receiving Ayeshala.

July 12th, 2020: Amos Netzer, the Mayor of the Zevulun Region and Nir Yonah, the Chief of                                                         Zevulun Police Visit IDU Command Center

During the 4 day search for Roni Waller, of blessed memory, the IDU lead hundreds of volunteers, including Amos Netzer (Mayor) and Nir Yonah (Chief of Police). 65-year-old Waller disappeared on July 12th, during a hike in a wilderness near his home. Waller, who had earlier suffered from a stroke,  fell into a ditch under heavy brush and was found dead by Danna, an IDU cadaver dog working with IDU volunteers.

July 18th, 2020: IDU Assists IDF in Pursuit of Arab Car Thieves

A ring of arab thieves who stole a car in Ariel and ditched it alongside highway 5 fled on foot. IDU dog handlers and drones assisted in the pursuit of the thieves.

July 21st, 2020: IDU performs dog show for lone soldiers in Gush Etzion

July 22nd, 2020: IDU holds important exercise at earthquake rubble site


                                 July 23rd, 2020: IDU receives award from Zevulun Police Department                                                     

August 3rd, 2020: IDU holds dog show for special needs children in Jerusalem

August 10th, 2020: IDU holds another dog show for special needs children in Jerusalem

August 13th, 2020: IDU Gush Etzion Commander, Michah Katz, receives award from Kibbutz Migdal Oz Security Chief.

August 25th, 2020: Dudi Mayblum, IDU Commander of Northern Operations, receives award from Israeli Police for aiding in the finding and rescuing of Yvgeny Kolyaba who went missing 4 days earlier from Kiryat Yam.

September 3rd, 2020: IDU SAR team finds Ronah Hilo of blessed memory

The IDU command center which was donated by Harel Insurance Company, managed more than 400 volunteers, including the deputy mayor of Petach Tikva, Moshe Ben-Sadok, as well as dogs, horses, kayaks, drones and jeeps in a race against the clock to save the life of 52-year-old Ronah Hilo. After 9 days of searching, Ronah's body was recovered -unfortunately deceased- by an IDU SAR team.

The IDU wishes all of its volunteers and supporters a great new year; a year of happiness, health, wealth, spiritually and physically.

Shanah tovah!

To join the IDU or to donate to the emergency crowdfunding campaign to raise urgently needed funds to keep the unit 
afloat please visit and forward the link to the emergency crowd funding campaign.