In December 1984, LIFE magazine--then in its two-decade-long run as a monthly--published an article and photographs on "the busiest bomb squad in the world." Written by David Friend and featuring pictures by J. Ross Baughman, the article, "Disarmers of Terror," chronicled the professional and personal lives of a never-before-photographed Israeli bomb squad in Jerusalem. Now, 30 years later, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict still front and center in the headlines, LIFE.com has posted a series of Baughman's photos, many of which never ran in LIFE, as well an excerpt from his new memoir, Angle (VisionsPress, 2014), in which he recounts the origin and the fascinating logistics of the bomb squad assignment.
Dressed in protective gear, an Israeli bomb squad member learns to juggle using three hand grenades on a hill above Jerusalem, 1984. Photo: J. Ross Baughman
Uri, an Israeli bomb squad officer, says goodbye to his children in the morning, 1984. Photo: J. Ross Baughman