An almost palpable darkness covers Lahav Forest in the Negev. The only light comes from Rimon Farm, a project for at-risk youth. Inside a hut overlooking the farm, cookies, oranges and hot drinks are laid out on a table. The refreshments are for the jeep unit and other volunteers of Hashomer Hachadash (the new guardian in Hebrew). They’re preparing for action in the depths of the forest. The operation’s commander is standing with his back to a plasma screen that shows a map of the area. He begins his briefing by mentioning recent incidents: people trying out guns, illegal sales of combat weapons, the axing of pine trees, the deliberate destruction of crops, the torching of picnic tables. The group appears to be deploying for a tense night in a forest teeming with violence and crime.
Paid by Ulpan Bayit