Sajjeret Matkal - Israeli unit for special tasks
One of the oldest special forces in the world. It's experience affects the position among other special groups. Sajjeret Matkal is the Reconnaissance Unit of the General Staff of the Defense Forces of Israel. Also called Unit 269 or Unit 262. It was formed in 1957 and was modeled on British SAS. Currently, its soldiers are excellent specialists in the fight against terrorism. Sajjeret Matkal's motto is similar to SAS and reads "Who dares, wins." The unit history and organization arouse curiosity. Until recently, the Israeli army denied the existence of its special forces. Many details are still top secret.
The unit's creation date is set for 1957. It was created by Major Abraham Arnan - a soldier of the Palmach assault company. He also became the first commander of the unit. The first unit was formed from former Palmach soldiers, veterans, commando units and former paratroopers. The training was based on the SAS system. They were also supported by Bedouins, from whom soldiers learned the skill of finding traces in the desert. Most operations are strictly confidential. Sajjeret Matkal's tasks include: special reconnaissance and gathering intelligence, anti-terrorist and counter-terrorist activities, deep reconnaissance and intelligence activities, direct actions and special actions at the rear of the opponent.
Organization and armament
Israeli special forces are subject to Aman military intelligence. The group structure is different from other special units. Sajjeret Matkal has no specific tasks during the war. The General Staff designates operations in which it is to participate. That is why unit soldiers are comprehensively trained. The unit consists of about 300 commandos. Unit arming is specialized and manufactured to order. Israeli military equipment is of very good quality. However, sometimes they use alternative equipment. This is due to the need to blur the tracks. Identifying them in a given operation is then more difficult. Sajjeret Matkal commandos use: Glock 17, Glock 18 pistols, Tavor TAR-21, Galil rifles, Uzi submachine guns, M-24 sniper rifles, Steyr SSG 69 and Remington 870, Mossberg 500 shotguns.
Commandos are chosen on a selection basis. A recruitment camp is organized to which volunteers apply. It takes place twice a year. Candidates undergo heavy field tests for several days. If the candidate is admitted to the unit, he / she undergoes intensive 20-month training. During the training, great emphasis is placed on small arms, martial arts, navigation, camouflage and reconnaissance. Also, when a soldier receives a red beret and a badge, he cannot wear them in public. Soldiers often operate in civilian clothes.
The most important actions of Sajjeret Matkal
The most important operational activities of the Israeli unit include:
- 1964 – Operation Szrakrak - the commandos' task was to deploy listening and warning devices on the Sinai Peninsula, thanks to which intelligence could obtain information about the movements of Egyptian troops
- 1968 – Operation Shock - sabotage of power plants and bridges on the Nile River in Egypt
- 1973 – Yom Kippur War - capture of Mount Hermon defended by the Syrian army
- 1975 – Operation Savoy - the release of hostages held at a hotel in Tel Aviv
- 2006 – Second Lebanese War - subversive actions in Lebanon
- 2007 – Operation Orchard - exploration of the area around the nuclear reactor in Daj once-Zaur in Syria
Many high-ranking Israeli politicians served in Sajjeret Matkal. Among others, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, and Directors of Mosad Dani Jatom and Shbatai Shavit. An Israeli special force planned an assassination attempt on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 1992. The operation was called Bramble Bush. During the assassination exercises, five Sajjeret Matkal commandos were killed.
We have no idea about the operation of most special units. They take part in many armed conflicts. However, they remain in the shadows. That is their task. They focus on specific action. That is why their effectiveness is so high. Soldiers are the best of the best. Real specialists. The people who work for the general public.