Thursday, February 2nd | 11 Shevat 5783

December 24, 2018 1:29 pm

Israeli Police Dog Severely Injured in Counter-Terror Op on Road to Recovery

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avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli police dog Rambo with members of the elite Yamam Unit. Photo: Israel Police.

An Israeli police dog who helped locate the Palestinian perpetrator of the deadly October terror attack at the Barkan Industrial Park in the West Bank is recovering from injuries sustained during the arrest operation, which ended with the death of the terrorist in an exchange of fire.

Earlier this month, “Rambo” led a squad from the Israeli Border Police’s special Yamam unit to the terrorist’s location, said the dog’s keeper, referred to as A. by Hebrew news website Ynet. “I sent Rambo to reconnoiter,” A. stated, “and after a few seconds there was a burst of gunfire and immediately after another one. We understood that we had found the terrorist, and I understood that Rambo would not return.”

But A. was wrong, and a few seconds later, Rambo emerged. “I breathed a sigh of relief and immediately started evacuating Rambo to the rear, while I was examining a gunshot wound in his neck and bullet fragments in his body,” A. recalled.

Veterinarians operated on Rambo, but chose to leave the 9mm bullet in his neck alone, as they feared the procedure to remove it might cause more damage than the wound itself.

The weapon the terrorist wounded Rambo with was the same that was used in the Barkan attack.

Two Israelis — Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, 29, and Ziv Hajbi, 35 — were murdered in the Oct. 7 shooting.

According to Ynet, this was not the first time Rambo was hurt during operational activities. In 2016, another unit was searching for a terrorist involved in a stabbing attack. Rambo’s then-keeper Y. stated, “A few minutes passed without hearing him, and we started searching the building the way we would search for a soldier who we had lost contact with. After a search that lasted around a half-hour, he was found in the courtyard of the building badly wounded with deep cuts in his stomach and chest, and a shattered leg. He was conscious and even wagged his tail.”

“It wasn’t at all clear that he would survive,” Y. added. “They said to me at the hospital that even if he lived, he couldn’t return to be a soldier in the unit.”

After a year of rehabilitation, however, Rambo was back on the job. He is currently going through rehabilitation again, and the hope is that he makes another complete recovery and can return to duty.

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