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Israel Dog Unit

“When Noam asked me for a dog, I told him ‘Come yesterday. This could be a matter of life or death.’”

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

With crime on the rise in the Negev, two non-profits are joining forces to boost security for Israeli farmers and small communities by providing trained dogs.

The Israel Dog Unit (IDU), an independent volunteer organization that trains dogs for security, search and rescue operations, family security and finding missing persons, is teaming up with HaShomer HaChadash a non-profit Zionist organization helping to protect farmers in the Negev and the Galilee.

Noam Bonfed, coordinator of  the southern branch of Hashomer HaChadash (The New Guardians), recently took personal delivery of Zaalah, a security dog specially selected and trained by the IDU to work in Israel’s south.

Bonfed told Israel National News that HaShomer’s volunteer guards carry legal firearms, but the rise of organized crime in the Negev made him rethink security. Bedouin crime groups in the Negev have expanded their activities from protection rackets at construction sites to stealing farm equipment and crops.

In October, the Israeli cabinet passed a NIS 2.5 billion plan to tackle crime and violence in the Arab sector. But until the effects of that initiative trickle down to local communities, security guards will make do with canine sidekicks.

The IDU trained Zaalah for detection, deterrence, and protection. The IDU also taught Bonfed how to handle and care for Zaalah.

Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov, IDU’s director commented “When Noam asked me for a dog, I told him ‘Come yesterday. This could be a matter of life or death.’”

Ben-Yaakov added that two people who asked for dogs but then tragically waited too long. Netanel Ozeri and Gennady Kaufman were killed in Palestinian terror attacks in 2003 and 2015 respectively.

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