The less-than-idyllic vistas of the Middle Eastern shores has been part of the operational routine of the outgoing commander of the Navy’s Missile Boats Flotilla (Shayetet 3), Col. Eyal Harel, and his fighters, over the past three years.

After nine years as a commander at sea, Harel has turned into one of the few officers in the IDF who got to see how the Middle East changes up close. Over the past few years, he took part in covert and distant operations, which until the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt were the exclusive job of his flotilla’s younger and more prestigious sister, Shayetet 13.

“Today, while going through the Suez Canal with a ship, we have to think about more than one thing. There are a lot of foreign fleets wandering around there, and every wrong move in long-distance mission could be misinterpreted and lead to escalation,” he tells Ynet. […]