An Israeli K-9 unit helped take down 10 Hamas terrorists to rescue more than 200 civilians under fire near the Gaza Strip.
The heroic hounds were deployed at multiple communities near Gaza that were under siege by Hamas last week, with the dogs credited for having “rescued hostages, saved lives, and eliminated terrorists who had barricaded themselves in houses,” according to the Israel Defense Forces Spokesman’s Unit.
During one of the assaults at the kibbutz of Kfar Aza — where Israel says some babies and young children were beheaded — a canine named Naro was able to alert the IDF of a planned later ambush by Hamas gunmen while out on a mission to locate the terrorists.
Thanks to Naro’s tip, IDF fighters were able to launch their own surprise attack against the invading forces.
Naro, unfortunately, died in the gunfight, but soldiers were able to locate his remains. The loyal K-9 was returned to his base for a burial.
During another rescue mission, a K-9 named Charlie sniffed out a Hamas leader and attacked him before IDF soldiers rushed in to assist the dog and apprehend the terrorist.
After its successful rescue missions, the K-9 Oketz unit will now be put on the offensive as Israel plans its ground invasion of Gaza.
“The next step is to enter the Gaza Strip,” the unit’s commander said. “The mission is to neutralize all the terrorists we confront in the field; we are ready, we are strong, we are united, and we are going to win.”
According to the IDF, the Oketz hounds are “specially trained dogs for missions in the field of counterterrorism, search and rescue, and other specific purposes.”
The assault into Gaza comes as Israel warns hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to evacuate the northern half as part of its retaliatory strike after Hamas’ slaughter of more than 1,300 people in Israel last week.
Among the dead are at least 29 Americans, with a minimum of 15 remaining missing after Hamas kidnapped more than 150 people during its attack across the border.
The Oketz K-9s will likely be used to try to help rescue the hostages as the unit boasts that each dog is specifically trained to complete a specific task.
“Joining the unit is voluntary and therefore soldiers undergo difficult selection and testing before joining the unit,” the IDF states. “Each dog is trained to have a specific specialty (attack, search and rescue, locating weapons, detecting explosives, etc.).”