[i]The U.S. Marine Corps and Israeli military commanders are studying the capture of the Palestinian refugee camp outside the West Bank city of Jenin. The three-day battle left 23 Israelis and more than 50 Palestinians dead.
The marines want to learn from the Israeli experience in urban warfare and the recent massive search-and-destroy operations for Palestinian insurgents in the West Bank.
Marine Lt. Col. Dave Booth, who oversees the Marine Corps-Israeli Defense Force exchanges, said his service meets with commanders from Israel and other countries to exchange information and hone skills. Booth said this benefits both the United States and its allies.
"We're interested in what they're developing, especially since Sept. 11," Booth told the Marine Corps Times. "We're interested in their past experience in fighting terrorism. So there's a lot of things we could learn from them."
The U.S. military weekly said the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab plans to revise the corps' urban warfare doctrine after an examination of Israeli tactics. This includes adapting Israeli methods in the deployment of air and armor in urban areas.
The military talks took place in both Israel and the United States. Marine corps commanders watched Israeli exercises and Israeli officers viewed a U.S. exercise in urban warfare last month.
The United States also sent a delegation from the Joint Chiefs of Staff last month to review Operation Defensive Shield, the term used for the month-long offensive against Palestinian insurgents in the West Bank.
The marines, struggling to reduce casualties in urban warfare simulations, have experimented with handheld satellite phones and rugged laptop computers to coordinate attacks on cities. In Operation Defensive Shield, Israel used unmanned air vehicles and attack helicopters along with armored vehicles.
Israel and the United States have also been discussing ideas for a security buffer zone meant to detect insurgents. Next week, Israel plans to launch tenders to establish a zone based on sensors, command and control and electronic fences in the first stage of a project estimated at $65 million. [/i]