Aman & Israel Units and Squads
Aman is the Hebrew abbreviation for the Israel Defence Forces' (IDF)
Directorate of Military Intelligence, Israel's central, overarching military inteligence.
Aman was created in 1950, when the 'Intelligence Department' was spun off from the IDF's General Staff (then, Agam).
Aman is an independent service, on a par with the Infantry Corps, Navy Corps, and the Air Force Corps, with a staff of 7,000 personnel (estimate as of 1996).
It is currently headed by Major General Aharon Zeevi-Farkash.
On 10 June 2005, the IDF's chief, Lieutenant General Dan Halutz, in a move viewed as surprising, announced that Major General Aharon Zeevi-Farkash will be replaced by Major General Amos Yidlin.
Yidlin, currently the IDF's military attaché in Washington, was a combat pilot, former head of the Air Intelligence Squadron, and Halutz's deputy.
The new appointment has already met the approval of Israel's Defence Minister, Shaul Mofaz, and will take effect in the next several few months.
Yidlin, recently nominated to replace Zeevi-Farkash
1948-1949 Isser Be'eri
1949-1950 Colonel Chaim Herzog
1950-1955 Colonel Binyamin Gibli
1955-1959 Major General Yehoshafat Harkabi
1959-1962 Major General Chaim Herzog
1962-1963 Major General Meir Amit
1964-1972 Major General Aharon Yariv
1972-1974 Major General Eli Zeira
1974-1978 Major General Shlomo Gazit
1979-1983 Major General Yehoshua Saguy
1983-1985 Major General Ehud Barak
1986-1991 Major General Amnon Lipkin-Shahak
1991-1995 Major General Uri Saguy
1995-1998 Major General Moshe Ya'alon
1998-2002 Major General Amos Malka
2002-2005 Major General Aharon Zeevi-Farkash (outgoing)
2005-Present Major General Amos Yidlin (recent nomination)Sayeret Matkal-
General Staff Reconnaissance unit) is the elite special forces unit of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).
It was established in 1957 as Unit 269 by veterans of the Paratroopers Brigade, Unit 101 and the IDF's Intelligence Branch (Aman).
Its main roles are counter terror, deep reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. The unit is modelled on the British SAS, and organizationally reports to Aman. Its IDF nickname is simply "The Unit". The unit's motto is "Who Dares Wins" (same as the SAS motto).
The unit is best known for Operation Thunderbolt, more commonly but mistakenly known as Operation Entebbe, in which it rescued more than 100 Air France airline passengers hijacked to Uganda by PLO terrorists, losing the unit commander (Yonathan Netanyahu) to enemy gunfire.
The unit was kept top-secret during its initial years. Fighters and commanders were selectively hand-picked, based on personal acquaintances and family members of existing members (two of Netanyahu's brothers also served in the unit, for example).
Since the 1980s, while still secretive, the unit opened to voluntary recruits. Twice a year it holds a notoriously gruelling selection camp (Gibush) for potential recruits lasting several sleepless days. The recruits are constantly monitored by doctors and psychologists. Those who make it through the end with passing evaluation marks are admitted.
During the 1990s, this selection camp practice was picked up by other IDF special forces (Sayeret). Lately, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz plans to unify all these camps to prevent recruit burn-outs and medical injury by over-enthusiastic youths.
Once admitted to the unit, recruits train for 18 months, with heavy emphasis on small arms, martial arts, orienteering, camouflage, reconnaissance and other skills important for survival behind enemy lines. Although Sayeret Matkal has its own insignia, Sayeret Matkal is the only unit in the IDF whose soldiers are not allowed to wear it in public due to its classified nature.Notable (former) Sayeret Matkal figures
Despite being a top-secret and relatively small army unit, former Sayeret Matkal veterans have a disproportionate influence on the army and public service. This may partly be due to the fact that rigorous screening and training (second only to that of the Israeli Air Force pilot academy) ensures that only the most capable and motivated Israeli youths are accepted by the unit as fighters.
Ehud Barak - unit commander, later IDF Chief of Staff and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu - unit team leader, later Israeli Prime Minister
Jonathan Netanyahu - unit commander, killed in Operation Entebbe. Benjamin Netanyahu's older brother.
Shaul Mofaz - unit deputy commander, later IDF Chief of Staff and Israeli Defense Minister.
Moshe Yaalon - unit commander, later IDF Chief of Staff
Danny Yatom - unit commander, later Major General, head of Mossad and a Knesset member
Avi Dichter - unit fighter, later head of Israel's General Security Service (Shabak, aka Shin Bet)
Several other unit veterans who later became army generals
There is a wideheld misconception that Israeli Prime Minister and former Major General Ariel Sharon also served in Sayeret Matkal. This belief is unfounded. Sharon (then a Major) did create and command the IDF's first special-forces unit (Unit 101) in 1953. Many people feel that this unit was the organizational parent of Sayeret Matkal. When Unit 101 was merged into the Paratroopers Brigade in 1954, Sharon became brigade commander - he never served in Sayeret Matkal.
Note: Until recently the Israeli army had an official policy of denying existence of this unit. Operations were generally attributed to "elite paratroopers". Sayeret Matkal operations are still kept secret to this day. However, due to the unit's successes in daring operations, it soon became a very publicly-known secret in Israeli society.
1968 - Operation Shock - Sabotage of power plant and Nile bridges in Egypt (jointly with Israeli Air Force)
1968 - Operation Gift - Sabotage of 14 Arab airliners in Beirut International Airport, Lebanon
1969 - Operations Orchard 22, Orchard 37 - Assaults on high voltage wires and a control antenna in Egypt
1969 - Operation Butmus - Assault on fortified Green Island, Egypt (jointly with Shayetet 13)
1969 - Operation Rooster 53 - Kidnapping an entire Egyptian radar installation (jointly with Israeli Air Force)
1970 - Operation Rhodes - Assault on fortified Shaduan Island, Egypt (jointly with Shayetet 13)
1972 - Operation Isotope - Foiling a Sabena aircraft hijacking in Tel Aviv, Israel (hostages rescue)
1972 - Operation Crate 3 - Kidnapping 5 Syrian intelligence officers
1973 - Operation Spring of Youth - Killing Black September terrorist leaders in Beirut, Lebanon (jointly with Shayetet 13)
1973 - Recapture of Mount Hermon from Syrian commandos in the Yom Kippur War (jointly with Golani Brigade)
1973 - Deep interdiction ambushes in Egypt and Syria during the Yom Kippur War
1974 - Ma'alot massacre (school hostages rescue)
1975 - Savoy Operation (hotel hostages rescue)
1976 - Operation Entebbe - Foiling an Air France aircraft hijacking in Entebbe, Uganda (hostages rescue)
1977 - Reputed foiling of a Lufthansa aircraft hijacking in Mogadishu, Somalia (hostages rescue, jointly with GSG-9)
1978 - Coastal Road Massacre (bus hostages rescue)
1980 - Misgav Am (Kibbutz hostages rescue)
1984 - Kav 300 affair (bus hostages rescue, see Shabak#Years_of_crisis)
1988 - Reputed Abu Jihad killing, in Tunis, Tunisia
1989 - Sheik Abdul-Karim Obeid kidnapping, Lebanon (see Ron Arad)
1994 - Mustafa Dirani kidnapping, Lebanon (see Ron Arad)
1994 - Nachshon Waxman (foiled hostage rescue)
(Hebrew pl. sayarot) means "reconnaissance unit" in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Such units are usually a company or a battalion in strength.
Combat brigades in the IDF usually have a company with improved weaponry, also known as plugat siyur (Hebrew pl. plugot siyur, abbr: palsar ), that is used to reinforce the brigade's regular forces.
Other sayarot are larger units, operating under corps and commands. Although the plugot siyur are mostly oriented at battlefield support (which is their raison d'être), many have participated in special operations during recent years.
All infantry units as well as the 7th Armoured Brigade have plugot siyur.
Each of the four Infantry Brigades (Golani, Givati, Nahal and Paratroopers) has its own Special Forces reconnaissance battalion (Yehidat Siyur, abbr: Yahsar). This battalion is made up of three specialized company-size units: Demolitions (Plugat Heil Handasa, abbr: Palhan), Recon (Palsar, mentioned above) and Anti-Tank (Plugat Neged Tankim, abbr: Palnat). While in the past there were differences between the three units, the IDF is now consolidating the three specialized units into one larger battalion-size unit with many different capabilities. This is part of the Yatah Project or, as it is called in English, the Low-Intensity Combat Unit project. This project aims at changing the Reconnaissance battalions into specialized urban counter terror units, that are specifically trained and equipt to operate in current combat situations.
In addition to the brigade sayeret units, IDF combat divisions have their own battalion-size recon units (Gdud Siyur, abbr: Gadsar).
There are also several battalion-size special forces units which report directly to regional, functional (navy/air-force) and the general commands.
The best known of these are Sayeret Matkal and Shayetet 13.List of known sayeret units
Sayeret Matkal is a special operations unit under the IDF General Command.
It is a designated deep reconnaissance unit but it also has counter-terrorist responsibilites. The unit is modelled on the British Special Air Service.
It is best known for Operation Entebbe, in which they rescued more than 100 Air France airline passengers hijacked to Uganda by PLO terrorists.
Sayeret Yahalom (formerly Sayeret Yael) is a special elite combat engineering unit of the Engineering Corps. It is specialized in accurate demolitions and planting pinpoint explosives.
Shayetet 13 is the Israeli naval commando.
Other sayarot that became public over the years:
Sayeret Egoz - Northern Command
Sayeret Haruv - Central Command
Sayeret Shaked - Southern Command
Yahsar Nahal - West Bank
Yahsar Tzanchanim - West Bank
Yahsar Golani - Gaza Strip
Yahsar Givaty - Gaza Strip
Shayetet 13 is the Israeli naval commando elite special forces unit.
The S-13 (shorthand for "Shayetet 13") is considered one of the top-three Special Forces units in Israel (along with Sayeret Matkal- the General Staff Special Unit; and Sayeret Shaldag- the air force special unit).
The S-13 is part of the Navy of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).
The S-13 symbol is a sword with in a shield with bat wings ().
Originally the S-13 was designated and trained to perform naval raids and underwater commando operations. Aside from being the navy elite unit for special missions, the S-13 is also an elite CT (counter terror)unit which specializes in covert ops deep within enemy's territory combining assault by sea, land and air.
The S-13 is based upon the Naval Brigade of the Jewish pre-military Haganah. Only in the 1970's it was professionalized as a naval SF unit and elite CT force. During the following decades the S-13 based its reputation as the second best elite SF in the IDF.
The S-13 took part in Operation Spring of Youth of 1973 in which Israeli special forces raided Beirut secretly overnight and killed some of the members of Black September, which had carried out the Munich Massacre of Israeli athletes in the Munich 1972 Summer Olympics.
Beside its great successes, the S-13 has also known great tragedies.
On September 8, 1997 the unit suffered a serious blow during a raid in Lebanon, when it was caught in a Hezbollah ambush and 11 of its soldiers were killed, including the unit commander.
In recent years, it was discovered that S-13 veterans had high occurrence of cancer, probably due to training in the polluted Kishon River & Haifa Bay. A commission for investigating the matter didn't find statistical evidences that the diving in the Kishon caused the cancer. However, Minister of Defence, Shaul Mofaz, decided to compensate the divers' families in spite of the commission findings.
S-13 is considered one of the best elite SF unit in the Israeli Defence Force and has a strong positive reputation with the Israeli public.Training
The training course of S-13 lasts one year and eight months (a total of 20 months). During training, the trainees acquire many skills, such as: sniping, navigation, unarmed combat, diving, sailing, parachuting, helicopter gliding and more.
Spring of Youth "Aviv Neurim" (1973).
Taking over Santorini smuggling ship (2002).
Taking over Karin A smuggling ship (2002).
Taking over Abu-Yusuf smuggling ship.
During the al-Aqsa Intifada, the S-13 soldiers decided not to limit themselves to naval operations and took part in ground counter terror operations deep within the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The S-13 has performed hundreds of operations, including the arrest and/or killing of many militants of the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, considered worldwide as terrorists due to their involvement in suicide bombings.
S-13 still performs naval operations. It earned high acclaim due to the capture of three Palestinian ships which smuggled illegal weapons: Karin A, Santorini and Abu-Yusuf. The takeover of Karin A in particular was considered a highly difficult operation and it was conducted flawlessly.
In 2002 and in 2003, the S-13 won the Chief-of-Staff award for successful counter terror operations.
Following the death of S-13's Captain Moran Vardi on July 6, 2004, the IDF issued the following statement:
The Sayeret Yahalom (formerly Sayeret Yael) is a special elite combat engineering unitof the Israeli Engineering Corps of the Israel Defense Forces.
The name "Yahalom" (Diamond in Hebrew) is an abbreviation of "Special Operations Engineering Unit".
It has high reputation as one of the more capable elite unit of the IDF Special Forces.
Sayeret Yahalom specializes in special engineering mission which include:
Accurate demolitions and planting of pinpoint explosives.
Maritime sabotage and obstacles breaching.
Searching and destroying smuggling tunnels.
Developing advanced methods and tools for demolitions and EOD.
Teaching and training engineering corps soldiers and other Special Units in demolitions and EOD.
Sayeret Yahalom (SY) is one of the most classified units in the IDF and almost none of its special activities are exposed to the public. Usually, when its activities are published, they are just credited to a "combat engineering force" (a term which used interchangeably for regular Engineering sappers, IDF Caterpillar D9 operators and infantry engineering companies).
Foreign sources (such as Janes Defence Weekly) claim that Sayeret Yahalom are working closely with Sayeret Matkal and Shayetet-13, by providing them demolitions, explosive and sabotage skills.
The exact weapons of the unit aren't detailed but it was recently report they acquired new means to handle smuggling tunnels, such as remote-controlled robot which can scan tunnels, preventing the need for human operator to enter the tunnel and risk its life.
EOD robots for handling IEDs, bombs and explosive charges and advance EOD car are standard equipment for all engineering units handling explosives and also used by Magav sappers.
Other means of Sayeret Yahalom include the up-armored IDF Caterpillar D9 bulldozer (which was found extremely useful for special operation and CT duties), an armored Excavator with drills and IDF Puma CEV.
Recently, Sayeret Yahalom was enlarged when the Southern Command Gazan tunnel experts team was merged with the unit, in a platoon called SAMOOR.
The "YACHSAP" team (the equivalent of EOD) is constantly defusing large IEDs set by Hizbullah in the Israeli-Lebanese border and bombs planted by Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They are often assisted by armored bulldozers for that mission.
The YAEL team provided accurate demolition skills to destroy Palestinian terror facilities such as bomb-labs and terrorists' house. They also reportedly blew up buildings in the Mukataa and bridges near Beit Hanoun (in order to prevent transportation of Qassam rockets via trucks and vans).
In order to be accepted into the unit one must enlist to the Israeli Engineering Corps and go through basic training ("Tironut"), in which the best trainees are tracked by the commanders and sent to "Gibush" (a 5-days test of physical and mental condition in intensive field trials) from whom the very best are selected to join the unit and received advance training. The extra training takes another year (which bring to a total of 1.5 years of training) and therefore joiners must commit themselves for two more years of service (in addition to the mandatory 3 years service in the IDF).
The long and intense training period include both Engineering and EOD training and both advance combat training and full Counter-terror training.
The YAMAM, is the acronym for Special Police Unit in Hebrew, Israel's elite civilian counter-terrorism unit.
The YAMAM has a world-wide reputation as a professional and successful counter terrorism unit and it is capable of both hostage-rescue operations and offensive take-over raids (for use against terrorists).
Besides counter-terrorism duties, it also performs SWAT duties and undercover police work.
YAMAM stands for Special Police Unit.
In Israel it is also called "The Unit for Counter-Terror."
The YAMAM answers to the MAGAV central command and belongs to the civilian Israeli police forces rather than the military.
Its operators and officers are professional policemen on payroll, usually with combat experience from their military service within the IDF.
The YAMAM is self-dependent, training its own operators in all fields, such as sniping, recon, dog operating, bomb disposal, etc.
As a result, the YAMAM has a very rapid deployment time and high coordination between various squads (sniping squad, entry team, engagement force, etc.).
The YAMAM's primary duties are:
Hostage rescue (terrorist events).
Hostage rescue (criminal events).
Counter terrorism (preventative operations).
SWAT duties - handling dangerous criminals.
Undercover police operations.
Most of the YAMAM's activity is classified, and published YAMAM operations are often credited to other units. Nevertheless, the YAMAM enjoys a high reputation among SF professionals and the Israeli public.
The YAMAM was established after the Maalot massacre, where a failed operation by military special forces units ended with 21 children murdered before the terrorists were killed. Since hostage rescue in friendly territory is different from counter-terrorism in hostile areas, it was decided to establish an elite civilian force, which develops and practices a special CQB (Close Quarters Battles) doctrine for counter-terrorism operations in friendly territory and hostage rescue. In the late 1974 the YAMAM was established as and falls under the direct jurisidiction of a special forces counter-terrorism unit of the MAGAV the combat arm of the police.
The YAMAM has carried out many counter-terror operations. Some of the missions known to the public prior to the al-Aqsa Intifada are listed below:
In March, 1988, the YAMAM was to called into action after a group of three Palestinian terrorists hijacked a bus full of women near Dimona, in an incident known as the "Mothers Bus". The YAMAM performed a rescue operation, killing all three terrorists, but didn't manage to prevent three Israeli passengers from being killed.
On March 3, 2000, the YAMAM captured a terrorist group hidden in the Israeli-Arab town of Taibe with the aid of Sayeret Duvdevan and an IDF Caterpillar D9 bulldozer. In the end of the raid, one terrorist was arrested and four were killed. 
The YAMAM has carried out many counter-terror operations during the Al-Aqsa Intifada within the last few years. The vast majority of them are classified. Some of the most notable are listed below:
April 7, 2002: A combination of SHABAK, the YAMAM and the IDF leads to the capture of Case Aduwan, a Hamas terrorist who planned the Passover massacre in Netanya. Aduwan fortified himself in a house along with four armed terrorists. During the raid, YAMAM snipers killed two terrorists and IDF forces detonated a car bomb meant to be sent into an Israeli city. After 12 hours of heavy fire exchanges, an armoured IDF Caterpillar D9 demolished the house. Aduwan's body was found under the rubble.
YAMAM and Sayeret Matkal rescued Israeli cab driver Eliyaho Goral, after he was kidnapped by Palestinian militants.
June 23, 2003: YAMAM forces killed Hamas's head in Hebron, Abbedullah Qawasameh.
December 3, 2003: YAMAM forces foiled an attempted massacre in Yokne'am school by Palestinian terrorists.
YAMAM forces killed Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian terrorist who was responsible for the slaughter of a mother and her two children in Kibbutz Metzer.
YAMAM forces, together with IDF elite units, arrested 12 al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades terrorists, which used the shelter of a mental institute in Bethlehem to prepare a huge suicide bombing against Israel during Passover.
July 25, 2004: YAMAM forces kill 6 Tanzim terrorists in Tulkarm, including the local head and a linkman to Hizbullah.
November 21, 2004: Three Fatah militants were killed in a gunfight with the YAMAM. One of the dead was Mohammed Rassan Sheikh, a senior Fatah militant who hid in Arafat's compound for a long time. (Haaretz)
Asaf Hafetz (1974-1988)
Elik Ron (1988-1992)
David Tzur (1992-1995)
The names of active YAMAM chiefs are prohibited from publication.
Mission of the Border Police
The Border Police is the operational and professional
arm of the Police in matters of internal security and combating terrorism, securing the
seam region, dealing with public disturbances and dispersing demonstrations, hostile
terrorist actions and preventing crimes in the agricultural sector.
In addition, the Border Police serves as a multi-purpose force for security and policing and as a focused and mobile immediate-intervention unit that can provide assistance and backup to police and IDF units.
The Border Police is set up according to a system known in police forces around the world as a "gendarmerie: the border policemen are given the authority of a policeman, but putting the force into action is carried out in a way similar to army procedure.Tasks
The operational arm of the Israel Police for combating terrorism and public disturbances and for providing ongoing security.
Assisting the Israel Defense Forces in providing ongoing security and with public disturbances within Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
Responsibility for and command of ongoing security along the Egyptian border.
Responsibility for and command of ongoing security along the western seam area.
Dealing with the rural sector and organizing security and guarding systems in the communities there.
Dealing with theft of agricultural produce and equipment and crime in the cities.
Securing vital installations.
The Israel Border Police (Hebrew: Mishmar HaGvul) is the combat branch of the Israeli Police.
It is also commonly known by its Hebrew abbreviation Magav, meaning: border guard.
The Border Police was founded as the Frontier Corps, a gendarmerie under the IDF in 1949 with the task of providing security in rural areas and along the borders. In the course of the following years, it was gradually transferred to the command of the Police and became the Border Police. During these years, it secured new settlements and countered infiltration of Palestinians, especially from Egypt and Jordan.
During the 1956 Suez War, the Border Police was involved in the Kafr Qasim massacre. On the second day of the war, a curfew was imposed on the Israeli Arab village. Villagers who had worked in the village fields and had not been informed about the curfew were shot as they returned to the village, resulting in 49 dead. The massacre raised a strong protest in the Israeli public and resulted in a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the obligation of soldiers to disobey manifestly illegal orders.
During the 1967 Six-Day War, the Border Police took part in the fighting alongside the IDF. Following the war, it was deployed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and charged with maintaining law and order as part of the military administration. Since then, a significant portion of the Border Police's activity has been in these territories, especially during the years of the Intifada.
In 1974, the counter-terror unit YAMAM is established.
In October Riots the Border Police used as the main branch of the treatment in the events. During al-Aqsa Intifada the Border Police took a large part in the security activity.
In 2005 the Border Police participated in the implementation of the disengagement plan.
The Border Police is composed of professional officers on payroll and field policemen redirected from the IDF (men at the age of 18 can choose to serve in the Border Policeinstead of the IDF, serving 3 years as a border policeman is equal to 3 years as an IDF soldier). All border policemen receive combat training and in addition are also trained for CT (counter-terrorism), riot control and policework. Excellent policemen can specialize in some profession and receive special training to become snipers, buggie-drivers, dog operators, bomb squad etc.
Because of their combat training, border policemen are employed in unquiet areas, where there are greater risks for riots, violence and even terror. They serve mainly at the countryside, at Arab villages and towns (along with the regular police), near the borders and at the West Bank.
The Border Police is also responsible for security of rural settlements inside Israel with its Rural Police (Hebrew: shitur kafri) units and community security coordinators (Hebrew: rabash). Rural policemen are full time professional officers and security coordinators are a mixture of full time and volunteer officers.The Border Police has four SF units:
YAMAM (Counter-Terror and Hostage Rescue unit), YAMAS (Counter-Terror Undercover Unit), YAMAG (Tactical Counter-Crime and Counter-Terror Rapid Deployment Unit) and MATILAN (Intelligence Gathering and Infiltrations Interception Unit).
The Border Police has an excellent record of thwarting terrorist attacks. One of the most famous incidents is the capture of a car bomb, containing more than 500 kg of explosives, near Wadi Arra.
The YAMAM record includes the capture of a terrorist group hidden in the Arab town of Taibe, the rescue of Eliyaho Goral, the killing of Hamas head in Hebron, Abbedullah Qawasameh and the foiling of an massacre attempt in Yokne'am school by Palestinian terrorists.
Border Police's undercover units have been repeatedly accused by both Israeli, Palestinian and international human right groups of extra-judicial killing of Palestinians which Israel considers "wanted"; there is convincing evindence that such persons are often summarilly executed by Israeli undercover squads without any attempt to capture and trial them.
Recently, undercover units have also been used as agents provocateurs, embedded in peaceful demonstrations against Israel's illegal Separation Wall built in the occupied West Bank and throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in order to justify violence against the demonstrators; so far, official Israel admits the presence of undercover agents among demonstrators and even the fact that they participate in stone throwing, but claims this follows rather than precedes stone throwing by the demonstrators themselves.
Israel Special & Security Forces
December 10, 2005