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"Unprecedented Historical Chronicles: MGB's Head of History Unit Reflects on Extraordinary Events"

Sen. Dr. Tal Mashgav.

In the heart of the tumultuous events on the 7th of October, a complex web of chaos unfolded. Countless breaches in the fence, numerous battle arenas, and thousands of encounters intertwined civilians, fighters, and even terrorists disguised as soldiers. Amidst this pandemonium, the resourcefulness of soldiers and the indomitable spirit of Israeli citizens worked in tandem to bring order and avert a greater disaster. Yet, amidst the aftermath, the crucial task remains: understanding exactly what transpired. This duty falls upon the shoulders of Senator Dr. Tal Mashgav.

Meshav in an interview as part of his work. Photographed by: Neria Zaks, History and Research Unit at the Ministry of Defense

Dr. Mashgav, at the helm of the history and research unit of the border guard, the commander of the museum and the house of military heritage, and a seasoned researcher in the IDF's history and research unit, took swift action as the chaos unfolded. Alongside MGB fighters in the field, he mobilized the history and research unit of the corps.

"Collecting and documenting history is our fighting routine," Dr. Mashgav declares. He details the immediate response of his highly skilled team, composed of individuals with advanced degrees, jumping into action on the fateful morning of the seventh of October. Their mission: to capture history in real-time. "We record history as it happens all the time," he emphasizes.

In an exclusive interview, Dr. Mashgav sheds light on the meticulous process of gathering firsthand accounts. "We reach everywhere, even deep in the field," he explains. Despite the challenges, including the sound of cannon fire during interviews, the team physically visits all units, documenting the stories of fighters and capturing the essence of the unfolding events.

As battles with multiple versions emerge, Dr. Mashgav acknowledges the complexity of building an accurate picture. "You don't build a battle picture in one day," he notes. The fog of battle on October 7th adds an additional layer of complexity. To counteract this, Dr. Mashgav strives to conduct most interviews himself, ensuring a nuanced understanding as the puzzle pieces gradually come together.

The motivation behind this intensive documentation is a fusion of research and a sense of duty. "It is impossible to separate the two," Dr. Mashgav asserts. Recognizing the historical significance of the moment, he emphasizes the responsibility to convey the story to future generations. "We are at a historical point, one of the greatest that the State of Israel has known," he states.

In the midst of the chaos, Dr. Mashgav takes pride in the extraordinary acts of heroism displayed by MGB fighters. "It seems that more than 450 terrorists were eliminated by MGB fighters," he reveals. The bravery of the "iPhone generation" warriors, as he terms them, surpasses expectations. "Once its turn came, it was up to the task," he commends.

Through the multitude of interviews, Dr. Mashgav is not just piecing together a historical account but delving into the individual stories of heroism. "It is one story made up of many hundreds of stories," he reflects. As he navigates this unprecedented chapter in Israel's history, Dr. Mashgav expresses the weight of his responsibility, hoping to do justice to the gravity of the events.

In his multifaceted role, Dr. Mashgav extends his interviews beyond fighters to include the welfare and human resources personnel of the Mageb. They face the grim task of identifying the fallen in hospitals, adding another layer to the intricate tapestry of this unprecedented chapter in Israeli history.

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