Miracles of the 551st – Horror in a Hamas House

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Miracles of the 551st 

Horror in a Hamas House 

 

Following up on an intelligence lead, we entered the home of a suspected Hamas terrorist and began searching for contraband.  Our efforts soon turned up various weapons such as assault rifles and explosive suicide vests with grenades. Proceeding to the next room, one of our commandos proceeded to search an ordinary looking chest. As he opened one of the drawers, to our collective horror, a grenade – with its trigger pin removed – fell to the ground. The chest had been booby trapped so that opening that drawer would cause the grenade to explode. Baruch Hashem, in a clear miracle, the grenade was dud and did nothing more than give us a good scare. 

 

 

Miracles of the 551st 

Civilian Subterfuge 

 

While on patrol, we saw what looked like two ordinary Gaza couples in traditional dress walking along a road controlled by the IDF. Someone in our squad detected something a bit unusual in the way the two women walked and directed our attention to the group who were approaching IDF positions. Snipers, who were part of my team, were instructed to train their rifles on each of the suspects and continued to observe their movements. Suddenly the two women started to remove their hijabs and revealed themselves to be men deceitfully carrying Kalashnikov rifles beneath women’s clothes. Baruch Hashem, before they could even position their weapons to shoot, our snipers were ready and successfully eliminated both of them.  

 

 

Miracles of the 551st 

Tracking a Terror Tunnel 

 

Hamas terrorists most often attack at dawn. One early morning in the Jabaliya neighborhood of Gaza, while we were on a mission to extract bodies, we were urgently alerted to the presence of a terrorist carrying a Kalashnikov rifle approaching our position. He was spotted from above by a drone and was seen attempting to sneak into the building where we were barricaded. 

 

We swiftly deployed into two detachments, one force was tasked with observation, while the other took up a strategic position. When the observation force detected that the terrorist was within the designated kill zone, we opened fire and quickly neutralized him.  

 

We recognized that the terrorist had likely emerged from a Hamas terror tunnel in the area. We were also operating under the assumption that hostages were possibly being held there in the nearby tunnels, and therefore needed to take extra care to identify such tunnels without necessarily destroying them. 

 

With that objective added to our mission, we set out shortly after to survey the area in search of a nearby tunnel shaft. I led the squad.  

 

As we moved through the alleyway from where we believed the terrorist had come, we approached a clearing amid the rubble of destroyed buildings.  

 

Unbeknown to us, our squad had come to within only a few meters of the tunnel. But we did not arrive unnoticed. A Hamas terrorist cell had apparently spotted us and triggered an explosive charge to detonate as we neared the tunnel entrance. It was a violent blast. 

An explosion of that size – which was also designed to destroy the tunnel entrance – should have taken out our entire squad. But we were only struck by small pieces of shrapnel. In an open miracle, thanks to Hashem, it turned out that at precisely the time when the bomb exploded, we were walking alongside a small, remnant of a wall, which absorbed all the shock of the explosion. If the explosion had occurred just a moment earlier or later, it is likely that many of us would not have come back alive.  

 

As it happened only one commando in our squad was lightly wounded and evacuated to the hospital (baruch Hashem, he is fine), but otherwise, we were all miraculously saved. 

After this incident, even the most secular soldiers among us began putting on tefillin.