Israeli Soldiers

Damascus Gate Zion Gate

Israeli Soldiers

Israeli SoldiersAll able-bodied Israeli men and women must serve as soldiers for 3 years and 2 years, respectively, in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

Jewish Israeli soldiers guard Jewish sites like the Wailing Wall, while Arab Catholic and Arab Orthodox Israeli soldiers guard the Islamic sites like Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque. And both Jewish and Arab Israeli soldiers guard Old Jerusalem. The two Israeli soldiers on the right, stationed just inside the Damascus Gate, were both Jewish. Surprisingly, neither Jewish nor Arab Israeli soldiers guard the Christian sites of Golgotha and Jesus' tomb.

Jerusalem ChamberSecurity is taken seriously in Israel, especially in Old Jerusalem, which is blanketed with CCTV cameras.

A drum-size chamber with thick steel walls (left) for isolating suspicious objects occupies a central location in the Wailing Wall plaza.

And when tensions rise, explosion-absorbing vertical partitions are installed down the middle of the Wailing Wall plaza (below) so that if something were to detonate, half of the plaza will be spared.

Travel Tip
Wailing Wall Plaza guarded by Israeli SoldiersIf violence flares up during your visit, try to avoid large groups of Israeli soldiers, whom the assailants most often target.

And be advised that machine guns are everywhere in Israel. The Israeli soldiers carry guns both on and off duty, and many civilians carry guns as well. It is not uncommon to see men walking with their wives and children with Uzi sub-machine guns slung over their shoulders, or a group of teenagers out for an evening with M16 submachine guns slung over theirs. The ubiquity of guns may be unsettling at first and may take a few days to get used to.

Damascus Gate Zion Gate
Israel Jerusalem Jesus Birthplace Jesus Tomb
Dome of the Rock Lake of Gennesaret Why Was Jesus Crucified?
Al Aqsa Mosque Sermon on the Mount Mount of Olives
Wailing Wall Capernaum Christian Hospice
Damascus Gate Tabgha Palestinian Christians
Jerusalem Wall Qumran Caves Evangelizing Israel
Zion Gate When Gospels Written? School of Tyrannus
Holocaust Museum Garden of Gethsemane Cayster River
Oskar Schindler Grave Via Dolorosa Temple of Diana
Israeli Soldiers Holy Sepulcher Church Ephesus Theater
West Bank Wall Tomb of Jesus? Ephesus Church
Nativity Church Golgotha Recommended Reading
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