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Wednesday, December 29, 2010
IDF Trains Officers for Helping Arab Civilians during Battle
The Population Assistance Officers, from both regular and reserve units, trained in 24 different situations that can challenge soldiers in the heat of battle.
“We chose officers from the ranks of junior officers to the rank of major for a full week of learning and training, including understanding the role of international organizations and their influence on the media during fighting,” IDF spokesmen said.
The officers learned rudimentary phrases in Arabic and were taught about Arab culture. They will enter the field with a pocket dictionary and a handbook of instructions on how deal with situations while soldiers are endangered by live fire.
One scenario involves evacuating handicapped civilians during fighting by opening a humanitarian corridor for rescue vehicles and for the removal of bodies, as well as holding fire temporarily while can enter. All of the procedures must be carried out while soldiers in the field are endangered by enemy fire, the IDF added.
The head of the training school said, “In future battles, it will not be enough simply to reach a line of defense. It also will be necessary to do so in the right way. By taking into consideration the local population, the army will have more legitimacy for continuing operations in the field."
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said the new course is expected to educate as many as 20 reserve officers for a week, covering the subject of the civilian component in combat.