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The IDF Southern Command began a project this year called “Forest Security,” to plant trees between Gaza and nearby Israeli communities to create an obstacle to the aiming of missiles at civilian targets.

“We are planting trees that will grow and provide cover,” said Lt. Col. Ilan Dayan. “A person firing an anti-tank missile needs a line of sight to the target.” It will take time, however, until the trees grow tall enough.

Until a few weeks ago, there was no warning for incoming mortar shells. Recently, however, a radar has come into use that can detect any threat and issue a red alert. Now residents have 15 seconds to seek cover from mortars, just like rockets.

“The day when 51 mortar shells were launched (less than a month ago), the system was used, with high quality,” said Lt. Col. Dayan.

The system also analyzes the source of the fire, significantly improving the IDF’s ability to strike the launchers.

(Florit Shoihet – Israel Defense Forces)

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