This isn’t just any balloon, it allows IDF troops to have a better angle for observation and helps make preventing and targeting terror more effective.
This field intelligence balloon was installed in Halamish, north of Jerusalem, and its impact is already felt. In late February, soldiers in the Field Observers Unit, who were using the intelligence balloon, were able to identify a man who was throwing stones at a junction where Israeli cars were passing. They were able to follow him and help ground forces arrest him. Then, using the information that they gathered with the balloon, they were able to ensure that he was indicted.
The commanders of the Binyamin Brigade and the Judea and Samaria Division decide where to place the intelligence balloons, in order to improve defense in the area and prevent attempts to harm the residents.
These measures were taken following a situation assessment in Judea and Samaria after increased threats near Halamish, which culminated in the murders of three members of the Salomon family.
"Until the arrival of the intelligence balloon," says Captain Daniel, commander of the Binyamin Regional Brigade’s field intelligence company, "field intelligence was carried out using cameras in junctions, and by mobile combat teams."
According to him, the balloon gives the soldiers several advantages: "It gives us a sharp, high-altitude view that spans vast distances, allows us to see a wider frame of a specific view, helps us collect information, and direct suspects on the ground, and eventually arrest them," said Cpt. Daniel.
Sometimes soldiers have to go on missions and wait anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and the balloon allows us to help them know exactly where to go," explained Cpt. Daniel.
Furthermore, Cpt. Daniel claimed that, in addition to the operational capabilities of the balloon, it also helps deter terrorists and reduces their motivation to carry out attacks.
"We hope that the balloon continues to lead to a decrease in terrorism in the region, but this doesn’t prevent us from strengthening the surveillance system in the region and remain alert and prepared to respond to any attempted attack," said Cpt. Daniel.