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Israeli Soldiers Dress as Civilians

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Israeli Soldiers Wear Street Clothes Camouflage

Upon crossing the border out of Jordan and into Israel, one startling observation shook me up: almost all of the soldiers at the Israeli border were wearing street clothes. They were typically young men — who were probably doing their conscription duty — with very large machine guns, t-shirts, khaki shorts, and sandals.

They looked as if they were going to Beach Party Saigon ’68.

The soldiers were dressed as civilians.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Eilat, Israel- May, 2009
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At first, I thought that this may have been done to calm the nerves of the tourists crossing the border. The only people who cross this border are foreigners on vacation — no trucks, no goods, no nothing except Europeans and Americans and large groups of Asians in matching tour hats venture across this fence between the Arab/ Israeli worlds.

Then I saw soldiers in the same low key garb in the streets of Eilat.

Then it hit me: there is no better camouflage for a soldier in an urban setting than casual looking street clothes.

In a city, a t-shirts, khakis, and cool-dude sunglasses are a much better defense than combat boots and camo gear.

To be readily identified in Israel as a soldier is to stamp a big flashing target upon your back.

I would not want to be a target.

Over top of the sparkling water of the Red Sea, in between the happy faced tourists lounging on the beach, and within the sky high resort hotels, Israel is still a war zone.

Israeli Soldiers Dress as Civilians

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Filed under: Israel, Middle East, Politics

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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