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April 5, 2018 10:54 am

Soldiers on Israel’s Border With Jordan Do More Than Defend Lives

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An abandoned watch tower at the Israel-Jordan border, as seen from the Israeli side, May 6, 2015. Photo: Moshe Shai / Flash90.

JNS.org – Israeli soldiers stationed near the Jordanian border have been canvassing the area in an effort to find ideal places to construct natural wildlife corridors before a new border fence is constructed.

Operation Living Together is being carried out in conjunction with academic experts, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and IDF trackers. The Jordanian army is also taking part in the conservation efforts.

The fence is expected to be completed within a year.

One purpose of the operation is to help migrating birds and animals access drinking water by strategically dispersing mobile water tankers in the area.

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Operation Living Together was inspired by lessons from the construction of the Egyptian border fence. While vital from a security perspective, the fence adversely affected animals previously accustomed to freely moving on both sides of the border. To provide a solution, the fence was fitted with specially designed crossings that allow only wildlife to move back and forth.

“The current operation serves as a very tangible example of how the army takes wildlife into consideration during its routine missions and helps to preserve it. Subsequently, we would also like to raise awareness to minimize the effects of all types of military activity on the desert ecology,” said Guy Selai, founder of the “Nature Defense Forces” initiative.

“Nature Defense Forces” is a joint initiative with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and IDF. Its goal is to instill in officers and soldiers a greater sense of responsibility for the environment in which they operate and motivate them to be proactive in preserving it.

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