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In their own words: IDF reservists on war, politics

Four IDF reserve soldiers speak to Al-Monitor about going to war as adults, with families to worry about and with more complex political and societal views than those of many young regular soldiers.
An Israeli soldier from the Nahal Brigade with a Star of David tattoo is seen after returning to Israel from Gaza August 5, 2014. Israel pulled its ground forces out of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and started a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas mediated by Egypt as a first step towards negotiations on a more enduring end to the month-old war. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST MILITARY) - RTR41AQ9
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In the days before they got their emergency call-up notices, the fellows in Kobi Dahan’s Israel Defense Forces (IDF) company constantly contacted one another through their joint WhatsApp group and on Facebook. Dahan, a reserve soldier in a Givati Brigade infantry battalion, says, “From the first day of the Protective Edge operation, I drove my platoon commander crazy, asking him when, when will they call us? All the soldiers from the company kept insisting, and I’m sure the entire battalion, too. Everyone talked about it and waited for the call-up notice to arrive. When it finally arrived, everyone was happy.”

Dahan, 29, from the southern town of Netivot, is married and the father of a 2-month-old girl. He felt a true sense of mission: His battalion helps guard the localities in the Gaza Envelope area. As a resident of Israel’s south, Dahan feels that this is “a war over our home front, in every way possible.”

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