A. took down at least four armed terrorists and hit about 10 others during a series of operations under fire, mainly in the West Bank city of Nablus. In doing so, Sgt. A became one of the IDF's most impressive fighters for the number of enemies he confronted as an individual soldier.
The Golani Brigade's sniper unit has stood out in every operation and is responsible for eliminating nearly one-third of the 50 terrorists killed in the West Bank area since escalations began a year ago.
A. has operated with his squad mates in the most dangerous locations in the West Bank without being detected. In recent days, while continuing his sniper training in Lebanon and engaging in combat in Gaza, A. was once again deployed in the West Bank.
Together with his team, A. was deployed close to forces operating within the Jenin refugee camp, where the unit captured a terrorist armed with a loaded sniper rifle.
As someone living in the Israeli settlement of Revava in the West Bank, A. says he feels like there's added value for his operation in the area.
"I was an ace athlete as a teenager, but I gave up athletics to do a meaningful military service," he told Ynet. "At the beginning of the course, I was a sharpshooter, but it wasn't enough for me and at my request the unit allowed me to go through sniper training. Almost everyone in the unit has been under fire in the past year during our operations."
Following A.'s distinction in the Golani Briage, his unit also received the IDF's Chief of Staff's Medal of Valor decoration.
A. and his squad mates train using several sniper rifles including in operational activities and training, even at ranges of over 1,000 meters.
"Snipers have become the strongest force in every brigade, not just ours. We also operate at closer ranges, clear the area for the rest of the teams, identify the enemy from a distance, and guide the forces so they won't get targeted or hit," he said.
"With the changes the brigade underwent in using snipers, integrating them into operational use, the entire brigade became much more effective, which was proved to me after we operated in the West Bank last winter," he adds.
"We positioned ourselves near the route taken by buses carrying worshipers heading for Joseph's Tomb, when I spotted several terrorists from over a kilometer away," he recounts.
"We reported it to other forces in the area who engaged them. Then, when another terrorist jumped out and opened fire, I hit him from 620 meters away before he could target the bus."
A few weeks later, during a Border Police operation in Nablus, A. led his team in a clash against dozens of armed terrorists that lasted for five hours. Using his rifle at close range, he also managed to hit at least two terrorists who had concealed themselves in the crowd.
"Whenever an armed terrorist like that peeks out from behind a building, I shoot immediately. In some cases, I even shoot from the back of a vehicle," he says.
"It's intense work, and I keep learning a lot from other snipers every time. Recently, we've been equipped with new and advanced tools, including a protective vest, to enable us to hit our targets with the first bullet."
First published: 15:55, 07.04.23