The West Bank Settlement bloc of Gush Etzion in Southern Jerusalem is home to the Caliber 3 shooting school that was set up in 2002, providing weaons training to security professionals. These include soldiers and bodyguards, however in the past few years more and more tourists have been coming there for an off-the-beaten path vacation experience with a two-hour tourist course.
The tourist course is aimed at tourists of any age who want to learn about anti-terrorism tactics with "his activity is geared to all tourists of any age who would like to learn about anti terrorism tactics. Experts in anti terrorism combat will teach how terrorism is fought, how to shoot a pistol and give hands on experience for all participants in shooting a weapon."
The program involves a lecture about anti terrorism tactics, a 15 minute show of fighting and combat skills, a 35-45 minute lesson in how to shoot and a session of live shooting.
"It's a fun experience for the whole family," said Rachel Frogel, who came with her 4 other children all under the age of 10, told The AFP.
Because of a decrease in violence in the area, courses like this, located between Jersulem and the West Bank city of Hebron, have become local tourist attractions. The website states, "At our program we combine together the values of Zionism with the excitement and enjoyment of shooting which makes the activity more meaningful. The contact with real soldiers who have experienced anti terrorism fighting means that everything shown and taught is authentic."
Some leaders, however are not happy with courses like Caliber' 3's that attracts tourists because they believe it propels the image of violence in Israel and gun-handling locals.
"For years we have been looking to change the perception of Israeli residents of Judaea and Samaria and more specifically of Gush Etzion," said Yoram Bitane a former head of tourism development for the region.