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IDF demonstrates desert survival capabilities against the backdrop of Passover, the ancient Israelite exodus from Egypt

IDF soldiers training in the Negev Desert (Photo: Cpl. Zev Marmorstein/Israel Defense Forces)

While Jews around the world gather to celebrate the Passover holiday, remembering the Israelites' exodus from Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land, the Israel Defense Forces demonstrates its modern-day wilderness-survival capabilities. 

Just as the ancient Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, Israeli soldiers today need to be resourceful in order to co-exist with the desert, which covers some 60% of the Jewish state’s tiny territory. 

Navigation is one important challenge for anyone traveling across a vast desert.

The IDF Intelligence Corps Unit 9900 comprises experts who analyze maps and aerial photographs of desert territory, providing soldiers with critical intelligence, including what to look for and where to go in the face of inhospitable and often hostile desert terrain. 

Transportation is still another challenge in the desert. IDF desert patrols use “wildcats,” vehicles designed for travel in dusty, sandy and rigorous rocky terrain. 

Scarcity of food is another major challenge in the desert. For this, the IDF has developed a unique food parcel, which comes in flexible packing and is designed for desert missions. 

Water is perhaps the most crucial and scarcest commodity in a hot and dry desert. The Israeli army has developed a water supply unit that specializes in transporting water to soldiers stationed in remote desert areas. The special unit’s equipment includes systems to produce fresh water from streams and ponds, as well as reverse osmosis water-generating systems. 

Last but not least, the IDF has invested considerable resources in IDF uniforms that are designed for combat soldiers operating in hot desert areas. The special uniforms are suited for heat and resistant to wear and tear in the wilderness.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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