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‘What kills people is people’: Israeli counterterrorism school training civilians to save lives

JERUSALEM, Israel – In the wake of the horrifying massacre in Las Vegas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said especially at this time, the people of Israel stand with the people of America. Tragically, Israel has a great deal of experience in dealing with terror attacks like the Las Vegas massacre. Israelis not only mourn with Americans, they want to share the hard fought lessons they’ve learned over years of dealing with acts of terror.

CBN News visited Caliber 3, a counterterrorism school near Jerusalem training people from all over the world.

At Caliber 3, students learn personal self-defense, counterterrorism techniques and how to respond during a terror attack.

Sharon Gat is founder and CEO of Caliber 3.

“Terror or attacks like that can occur anywhere: in Israel, in Europe, in America, in Las Vegas,” Gat told CBN News.

“They understand immediately – after one bullet is shot – what they have to do. They have to lie on the ground, catch a cover, [and] get out of the place as fast as possible. And be as small as possible as they can,” he explained.

Civilians can and should learn what to do.

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“Civilians respond to attacks like that and stop them. That’s how attacks like this are stopped in Israel,” he said. “That way even if the police are not there or the military is not there, but there was a civilian in the next room in the hotel that had a weapon, he goes and kills the madman and finishes the attack and saves people’s lives.”

Gat says during an attack like Las Vegas, people just need to remember to take basic actions.

“Simple things that can save your life, like knowing how to take a cover, knowing to lie down on the floor immediately – to go out of the situation as fast as possible,” he continued. “I saw some of the people [in the Las Vegas attack] who lie down on the floor. I bet it saved their life. [Be] less exposed, crawl, find a cover – that will save your life.”

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Gat also believes that guns in the right hands can save lives.

“I’m not the guy that is saying that people shouldn’t have a weapon. On the contrary, I think people should have a weapon. The weapon is not what kills people. What kills people is people. But you need to know who you are giving the weapon to. And you need to know who is getting the weapon is trained enough and mentally okay to carry a weapon,” he said.

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And Gat thinks that sadly, in light of the Las Vegas massacre, Americans need a new mentality.

“Americans have to understand that attacks like this will occur. They occurred and they will occur in the future and people have to be more aware. They can still live their life, but they have to be more aware to where they’re living,” he said.

This article originally appeared on CBN News, October 4, 2017, and reposted with permission.

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Chris Mitchell
Chris is CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief based in Jerusalem.

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