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In Pictures: 'Commando tourism' in Israel
Counter-terrorism training centre in West Bank settlement allows tourists to shoot at targets of Arab men.
Last updated: 14 Jan 2014 09:21
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The Caliber 3 Academy in Gush Etzyon, a bloc of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, has become a renowned training centre for both professionals and amateurs alike, where people come from around the world to be trained in counter-terrorism techniques.

On any given training day, the trainers at Caliber 3 instruct Israeli citizens and tourists, adults and children, in emergency response tactics and "krav maga", a self-defence system developed for the militaries of Israel and Hungary that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from boxing, muay thai, wing chun, judo, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and grappling - along with realistic fight training.

The company was founded in 2002 by Israeli colonel Sharon Gat, who is also the CEO. The shooting ranges are filled with photo targets of Arab men wearing keffiyahs. But Gat stresses that the training is not intended to teach how to attack or provoke terrorists, but only for protection. "Even if the targets are Arabs and they don't like Jews, we don't shoot people that are not intended to make a terrorist act," Gat says.

Visitors from the United States and Russia are among the many who come to the academy looking for a different type of tourism. Caliber 3 advertises this as "commando tourism", where people can train alongside seasoned veterans with real-life counter-terrorism experience. One woman, Margo, came from New York with her young son Harry to learn self-defence. Mary, from Fishers, Indiana, came with her entire family for a good time during their vacation in Israel.

"They are mostly American and Russian Jews who have relatives or friends in the colonies," says Gat of the tourists. "They want to understand what it means to live in a climate of war where you must defend 24/7 from the Palestinians."

The academy includes three shooting ranges, a dining room, a krav maga gym and a tactical training centre. Caliber 3 is dedicated to Captain Hagai Hayim Lev, a 24-year-old Israeli soldier killed in 2002 during a military operation in southern Gaza.


/Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media
Sharon Gat, the CEO and founder of Caliber 3, explains to a group of tourists: "Even if the targets are Arabs and they don't like Jews, we don't shoot people that are not intended to make a terrorist act."


/Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media
Eitan Cohen, a combat and krav maga instructor, during a basic shooting training session with a group of American and Russian tourists.


/Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media
A Caliber 3 team performs a demonstration of a VIP protection operation.


/Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

A Caliber 3 team demonstrates another VIP protection operation.



/Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

Harry, from the US state of New York, enjoys shooting with a paintball rifle.



/Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

One of the three shooting ranges at the Caliber 3 Academy, located in Gush Etzyon, a group of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.



/Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media
One of the several target posters used in the Caliber 3 shooting range that depicts an Arab man.


/Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media
A group of Israeli trainees pray during a course for becoming security guards.



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images:
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captions:
Sharon Gat, the CEO and founder of Caliber 3, explains to a group of tourists: "Even if the targets are Arabs and they don\(***)t like Jews, we don\(***)t shoot people that are not intended to make a terrorist act.";*;Eitan Cohen, a combat and krav maga instructor, during a basic shooting training session with a group of American and Russian tourists.;*;A Caliber 3 team performs a demonstration of a VIP protection operation.;*;

A Caliber 3 team demonstrates another VIP protection operation.

;*;

Harry, from the US state of New York, enjoys shooting with a paintball rifle.

;*;

One of the three shooting ranges at the Caliber 3 Academy, located in Gush Etzyon, a group of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

;*;One of the several target posters used in the Caliber 3 shooting range that depicts an Arab man.;*;A group of Israeli trainees pray during a course for becoming security guards. Daylife ID:
e36a656db4ef7cf8132977c677fa497d
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media;*;Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media;*;Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media;*;Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media;*;Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media;*;Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media;*;Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media;*;Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Israel commando tourismhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourismen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Sun, 12 Jan 2014 10:10:39 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/4d86d4a7828272583095bc33eacb5cce

Sharon Gat, the CEO and founder of Caliber 3, explains to a group of tourists: "Even if the targets are Arabs and they don't like Jews, we don't shoot people that are not intended to make a terrorist act."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/4d86d4a7828272583095bc33eacb5cceGiuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

Sharon Gat, the CEO and founder of Caliber 3, explains to a group of tourists: "Even if the targets are Arabs and they don't like Jews, we don't shoot people that are not intended to make a terrorist act."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/baab7cf335ba500fa9da6dee0119e68e

Eitan Cohen, a combat and krav maga instructor, during a basic shooting training session with a group of American and Russian tourists.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/baab7cf335ba500fa9da6dee0119e68eGiuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

Eitan Cohen, a combat and krav maga instructor, during a basic shooting training session with a group of American and Russian tourists.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/951e60530d7489354046d20c0d07fd72

A Caliber 3 team performs a demonstration of a VIP protection operation.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/951e60530d7489354046d20c0d07fd72Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

A Caliber 3 team performs a demonstration of a VIP protection operation.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/aaf1554c6b5593aa4ccdf83052c43618

A Caliber 3 team performs a demonstration of a VIP protection operation.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/aaf1554c6b5593aa4ccdf83052c43618Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

A Caliber 3 team performs a demonstration of a VIP protection operation.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/e2384f189da180466b5a871451bc0a3e

Harry, from the US state of New York, enjoys shooting with a paintball shotgun.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/e2384f189da180466b5a871451bc0a3eGiuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

Harry, from the US state of New York, enjoys shooting with a paintball shotgun.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/6739cb699952c740775a9ff3a0ffe48f

One of the three shoting ranges at Caliber 3 Academy, located in Gush Etzyon, a group of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/6739cb699952c740775a9ff3a0ffe48fGiuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

One of the three shoting ranges at Caliber 3 Academy, located in Gush Etzyon, a group of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/c0697de0becde8d760c3f4b2ffd8973d

One of the several target posters used in the Caliber 3 shooting range that depicts an Arab man.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/c0697de0becde8d760c3f4b2ffd8973dGiuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

One of the several target posters used in the Caliber 3 shooting range that depicts an Arab man.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/e5e7dedc7a4fca2e06a54f597b1ff2a5

A group of Israeli trainees pray during a course for becoming security guards.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Israel_commando_tourism/slideshow/no-caption/e5e7dedc7a4fca2e06a54f597b1ff2a5Giuliano Camarda/Transterra Media

A group of Israeli trainees pray during a course for becoming security guards.



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