American tourists are seen training with wooden guns as they participate in an introductory course to handle firearms at the Caliber 3 shooting range. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)
July 20, 2012
In an Israeli West Bank settlement bloc known as Gush Etzion, American tourists are flocking to Caliber 3 shooting school, a training camp for Israeli 'security professionals including soldiers and bodyguards', which has recently opened its services to Israeli and American civilians. The company says it offers "the values of Zionism with the excitement and enjoyment of shooting which makes the activity more meaningful."
The company offers a two-hour "tourist course", in which travelers and families take turns shooting at photos of men wearing the keffiyeh scarf worn by Palestinians.
The school was set up in 2002 and opened its doors to tourists roughly three years ago.
The Caliber 3 website promotes the experience as a "special encounter that can not be experienced anywhere else except on the battlefield."
"It's a fun experience for the whole family," Rachel Frogel, a young mother holding a baby in her arms, told Agence France-Press at the Caliber 3 school.