Israeli Agencies

Mossad / The Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks [ha-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim]

Mossad [Hebrew for “institute”] has responsibility for human intelligence collection, covert action, and counter terrorism. Its focus is on Arab nations and organizations throughout the world. Mossad also is responsible for the clandestine movement of Jewish refugees out of Syria, Iran, and Ethiopia. Mossad agents are active in the former communist countries, in the West, and at the UN. Mossad is headquartered in Tel Aviv. The staff of Mossad was estimated during the late 1980s to number between 1,500 to 2,000 personnel, with more recent estimates placing the staff at an estimated 1,200 personnel. The identity of the director of Mossad was traditionally a state secret, or at least not widely publicized, but in March 1996 the Government announced the appointment of Major General Danny Yatom as the replacement for Shabtai Shavit, who resigned in early 1996. Formerly known as the Central Institute for Coordination and the Central Institute for Intelligence and Security, Mossad was formed on 01 April 1951. Mossad was established by then Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, who gave as Mossad's primary directive: "For our state which since its creation has been under siege by its enemies. Intelligence constitutes the first line of defense...we must learn well how to recognize what is going on around us." Mossad has a total of eight departments, though some details of the internal organization of the agency remain obscure. Collections Department is the largest, with responsibility for espionage operations, with offices abroad under both diplomatic and unofficial cover. The department consists of a number of desks which are responsible for specific geographical regions, directing case officers based at "stations" around the world, and the agents they control. Beginning in 2000, the Mossad undertook an advertising campaign to promote recruitment of collection officers. 

The Political Action and Liaison Department conducts political activities and liaison with friendly foreign intelligence services and with nations with which Israel does not have normal diplomatic relations. In larger stations, such as Paris, Mossad customarily had under embassy cover two regional controllers: one to serve the Collections Department and the other the Political Action and Liaison Department.

The Special Operations Division, also known as Metsada, conducts highly sensitive assassination, sabotage, paramilitary, and psychological warfare projects.

The LAP (Lohamah Psichlogit) Department is responsible for psychological warfare, propaganda and deception operations.

The Research Department is responsible for intelligence production, including daily situation reports, weekly summaries and detailed monthly reports. The Department is organized into 15 geographically specialized sections or "desks", including the USA, Canada and Western Europe, Latin America, Former Soviet Union, China, Africa, the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), Libya, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran. A "nuclear" desk is focused on special weapons related issues.

The Technology Department is responsible for development of advanced technologies for support of Mossad operations. In April 2001, the Mossad published a help wanted ad in the Israeli press seeking electronics engineers and computer scientists for the Mossad technology unit.

Israel's most celebrated spy, Eli Cohen, was recruited by Mossad during the 1960s to infiltrate the top echelons of the Syrian government. Cohen radioed information to Israel for two years before he was discovered and publicly hanged in Damascus Square. Another Mossad agent, Wolfgang Lotz, established himself in Cairo, became acquainted with high-ranking Egyptian military and police officers, and obtained information on missile sites and on German scientists working on the Egyptian rocket program. In 1962 and 1963, in a successful effort to intimidate the Germans, several key scientists in that program were targets of assassination attempts. Mossad also succeeded in seizing eight missile boats under construction for Israel in France, but which had been embargoed by French president Charles de Gaulle in December 1968. In 1960, Mossad carried out one of its most celebrated operations, the kidnapping of Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann from Argentina. Another kidnapping, in 1986, brought to Israel for prosecution the nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, who had revealed details of the Israeli nuclear weapons program to a London newspaper. During the 1970s, Mossad assassinated several Arabs connected with the Black September terrorist group. Mossad inflicted a severe blow on the PLO in April 1988, when an assassination team invaded a well-guarded residence in Tunis to murder Arafat's deputy, Abu Jihad, considered to be the principal PLO planner of military and terrorist operations against Israel. Gerald Bull, a Canadian scientist who developed the famed "Super Gun" for Iraq was killed by the Mossad at his Brussels apartment in March 1990, effectively halting the development of the Supergun project. Egyptian security services reported the discovery of a total of seven Israeli espionage networks during 1996, which is a significant increase compared to the 20 similar networks discovered in the previous 15 years.

And Mossad's record has also been blemished by a few embarrassing failures. In Lillehammer Norway on 07 January 1974 Mossad agents mistakenly killed Ahmad Boushiki, an Algerian waiter carrying a Moroccan passport, whom they mistook for PLO security head Ali Ahmad Salameh, believed to have masterminded the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics [Salameh was killed in a 1979 car-bomb explosion in Lebanon]. Following the attack, the Mossad agents were arrested and tried before a Norwegian court. Five Israeli agents were convicted and served short jail sentences, though Israel denied responsibility for the murder. In February 1996 the Israeli government agreed to compensate the family of Ahmad Boushiki. On 15 November 1995, Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, an Israeli citizen. Following the controversy over the failure of intelligence to protect Rabin, and the embarrassment over the mistaken assassination of a Swedish national, the Director General of Mossad, then known only as 'S', was forced into retirement. On 24 March 1996 Prime Minister Shimon Peres appointed Major General Danny Yatom as the new Director General of Mossad, the first Director of Mossad to ever be publicly identified. The

On 24 September 1997 Mossad operatives attempted to assassinate Khalid Meshaal, a top political leader of the Palestinian group Hamas. The assassins entered Jordan on fake Canadian, and injected Meshaal with a poison. Jordan was able to wring a numbar of concessions out of Israel in the aftermath of the fiasco, including the release of the founder of Hamas, Shaykh Ahmad Yasin, from an Israeli jail

Shin Bet / General Security Service - Sherut ha-Bitachon ha-Klali

Shin Bet, the Israeli counter-intelligence and internal security service, is believed to have three operational departments and five support departments. Arab Affairs Department is responsible for antiterrorist operations, political subversion, and maintenance of an index on Arab terrorists. Shin Bet detachments, known as HENZA, worked with Aman undercover detachments [known as Mista'arvim (Marauders)] to counter the uprising. This Department has also been active in countering the military wing of Hamas. Non-Arab Affairs Department, formerly divided into communist and noncommunist sections, concerned itself with all other countries, including penetrating foreign intelligence services and diplomatic missions in Israel and interrogating immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Protective Security Department is responsible for protecting Israeli government buildings and embassies, defence industries, scientific installations, industrial plants, and the El Al national airline. Shin Bet monitors the activities of and personalities in domestic right-wing fringe groups and subversive leftist movements. It is believed to have infiltrated agents into the ranks of the parties of the far left and had uncovered a number of foreign technicians spying for neighbouring Arab countries or the Soviet Union. All foreigners, regardless of religion or nationality, are liable to come under surveillance through an extensive network of informants who regularly came into contact with visitors to Israel. Shin Bet's network of agents and informers in the occupied territories destroyed the PLO's effectiveness there after 1967, forcing the PLO to withdraw to bases in Jordan.

Shin Bet's reputation as a highly proficient internal security agency was tarnished severely by two public scandals in the mid-1980s. In April 1984, Israeli troops stormed a bus hijacked by four Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Although two of the hijackers survived, they were later beaten to death by Shin Bet agents. It appeared that the agents were acting under orders of Avraham Shalom, the head of Shin Bet. Shalom falsified evidence and instructed Shin Bet witnesses to lie to investigators to cover up Shin Bet's role. In the ensuing controversy, the attorney general was removed from his post for refusing to abandon his investigation. The president granted pardons to Shalom, his deputies who had joined in the cover-up, and the agents implicated in the killings. In 1987 Izat Nafsu, a former IDF army lieutenant and member of the Circassian minority, was released after his 1980 conviction for treason (espionage on behalf of Syria) was overturned by the Supreme Court. The court ruled that Shin Bet had used unethical interrogation methods to obtain Nafsu's confession and that Shin Bet officers had presented false testimony to the military tribunal that had convicted him. A judicial commission set up to report on the methods and practices of Shin Bet found that for the previous seventeen years it had been the accepted norm for Shin Bet interrogators to lie to the courts about their interrogation. In 1987 the Israeli government-appointed Landau Judicial Commission condemned torture but allowed for the use of "moderate physical and psychological pressure" to secure confessions and obtain information. In addition, although the Israeli Penal Code prohibits the use of force or violence by a public official to obtain information, the GSS chief is permitted by law to allow interrogators to employ "special measures" that exceed the use of "moderate physical and psychological pressure" when it is deemed necessary to obtain information that could potentially save Israeli lives in certain "ticking bomb" cases. The GSS first permitted interrogators "greater flexibility" in applying the guidelines shortly after a bus bombing in Tel Aviv in October 1994 that killed 22 Israelis. The Government has not defined the meaning of "greater flexibility" or what might constitute a "ticking bomb" case. At roughly quarterly intervals, the Government has approved the continued use of "special measures." On August 22, Israel's ministerial committee on GSS interrogations authorized the continued use of "special measures," including shaking.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) declared in 1992 that such practices violate the Geneva Convention. Human rights groups and attorneys challenged the use of "special measures," especially shaking, before the Israeli High Court a number of times during the year. In each case the court either rejected the petition or ruled in favor of the GSS. Israeli authorities maintain that torture is not condoned but acknowledge that abuses sometimes occur and are investigated. However, the Government does not generally make public the results of such investigations. Israel conducted two official investigations into the 35 complaints received in 1997. Shin Bet's reputation was further compromised by the assassinate of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995 by a right-wing Israeli extremist. In the aftermath of the ensuing scandal, the head of Shin Bet [Karmi Gillon] resigned in January 1996 and was succeeded by Rear Admiral Ami Ayalon.

Aman / Military Intelligence - Agaf ha-Modi'in

Military intelligence, or Aman, produces comprehensive national intelligence estimates for the prime minister and cabinet, daily intelligence reports, risk of war estimates, target studies on nearby Arab countries, and communications intercepts. Aman also conducts across-border agent operations. Aman is an independent service, co-equal with the army, navy and air force. Aman's estimated staff of 7,000 personnel is currently led by Brigadier General Moshe Ya'alon. His immediate predecessor was Major General Yehoshua [Uri] Saguy. Aman's Foreign Relations Department is responsible for liaison with foreign intelligence services and the activities of Israeli military attachés abroad. The Sayeret Maktal General Staff Deep Reconnaissance Unit is Israel's primary counter-terrorism and intelligence-gathering entity. Small air force and naval intelligence units operated as semi-autonomous branches of Aman. Air force intelligence primarily uses aerial reconnaissance and radio intercepts to collect information on strength levels of Arab air forces and for target compilation. In addition to reconnaissance aircraft, pilotless drones are used extensively to observe enemy installations. Naval intelligence collects data on Arab and Soviet naval activities in the Mediterranean and prepares coastal studies for naval gunfire missions and beach assaults. A number of electronic intelligence collection and observation facilities are located on the Golan Heights, including a facility at Har Avital which monitors Syria, and another at Mount Hermon which monitors both Lebanon and Syria. Aman was held responsible for the failure to obtain adequate warning of the Egyptian-Syrian attack that launched the October 1973 War. Many indications of the attack were received but faulty assessments at higher levels permitted major Arab gains before the IDF could mobilize and stabilize the situation. During preparations for the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Aman correctly assessed the weaknesses of the Christian militia on which Israel was depending and correctly predicted that a clash with the Syrian garrison in Lebanon was inevitable. The chief of intelligence, Major General Saguy, made these points to the general staff and privately to the prime minister. But, although he was present at cabinet meetings, he failed to make his doubts known to avoid differing openly with Begin and Sharon. Saguy was forced to retire after the Kahan Commission found that he had been delinquent in his duties regarding the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps.

Lekem / Bureau of Scientific Relations - Leshkat Kesher Madao

Until officially disbanded in 1986, the Bureau of Scientific Relations (Leshkat Kesher Madao--Lekem) collected scientific and technical intelligence abroad from both open and covert sources. Lekem was dismantled following the scandal aroused in the United States by the arrest of Jonathan Jay Pollard for espionage on behalf of Israel. Pollard, a United States naval intelligence employee in Washington, received considerable sums for delivering vast quantities of classified documents to the scientific officers (Lekem agents) at the Israeli embassy. Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment. Although the Israeli government asserted that the operation was an unauthorized deviation from its policy of not conducting espionage against the United States, statements by the Israeli participants and by Pollard himself cast doubt on these claims. Some sources assert that open and covert collection of scientific and technical information formerly conducted by Lekem is now conducted by a unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Centre for Political Research - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Foreign Ministry formulates, implements and presents the foreign policy of the Government of Israel. It represents the state vis-a-vis foreign governments and international organizations, explains its positions and problems throughout the world, endeavours to promote its economic, cultural, and scientific relations, and fosters cooperation with developing countries. Israel currently maintains diplomatic relations with 160 countries. The Ministry promotes relations with Diaspora communities and safeguards the rights of Israeli citizens abroad. The Centre for Political Research, which has ten departments, monitors events, developments, and political processes, mainly in the Middle East, including international involvement therein. The Centre's main tasks include gathering, analysing and evaluating political information, as required by the Ministry; regular political briefings and guidance to Israel's missions throughout the world; and assisting the political information network, in Israel and overseas, with its expertise in Middle East affairs.

Sayeret Mat'Kal

Sayeret Mat'kal, otherwise known as General Staff Recon and more popularly as "The Unit", was formed in 1957 by an Officer by the name of Avraham Arnan. He petitioned the IDF General Staff to create a unit that could be dispatched to enemy held territory to carry out top secret intelligence gathering missions. The unit was initially based on the examples set forth by the SAS. Member of the unit were trained by Bedouin trackers on the finer points of looking and thinking like an Arab. In 1959, a draftee named Ehud Barak was accepted into Sayeret Mat'Kal. He later succeeded the original Mat'kal leader, Lt. Meir Har-Zion, became Israel's most decorated soldier, and then went on to become the IDF Chief of Staff. Barak has a great influence on Sayeret Mat'kal. He was a highly innovative soldier, charismatic and brave. His presence inspired confidence in his soldiers and gave rise to a talented crew of operators that became a deadly and effective force. Although a top-secret unit, Sayeret Mat'kal had a tremendous influence on the IDF. They were the original developers of helicopter infiltration techniques in Israel. In addition, their heavy use of the Uzi led them to convinced Israel Military Industries to produce an Uzi with a folding stock for increased accuracy while maintaining its small frame. They saw extensive action along the fronts of the 1967 Six Day War; many of Israel's war fighting successes before and during this conflict are evidence of their presence and abilities. Sayeret Mat'kal has participated in many anti and counter-terrorist operations, including the storming of a Boeing 707 held by Black September terrorists in 1972 and the killing of a force of bus hijackers in the Gaza Strip. They are probably best know for their actions in the 1976 rescue of 106 passengers at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. There have been rumors linking them with several recent operations but these have never been confirmed by the IDF. Members of Sayeret Matkal go through one year and 8 months of training before they are fully qualified as Matkal commandos. The best of the new recruits go to Unit 269, a part of Sayeret Matkal that specializes in counter-terrorism operations. Unit 269 is responsible for counter-terrorism activities outside of Israel and operates with the Israeli Navy's Flotilla 13 regularly.

Sayeret Golani

Sayeret Golani was created in 1951. It was originally named Machleket Siyur Meyuchedet, or Special Reconnaissance Platoon; a part of the 1st Golani Infantry Brigade. Since its creation, the members of the Golani's brigade reconnaissance element have proven themselves to be a effective force with many capabilities beyond the simple reconnaissance role. They have operated all over Israel and even beyond; in Beirut, Lebannon, Syria, and even Uganda. Sayeret Golani has had a bloody but illustrious history. The unit assaulted and took Mt. Hernon's strategically located peak in a fierce battle during the Six Days War. In the beginning of the Yom Kippur War the elite Syrian 82nd Paratroop Regiment seized the mountain top from the small contingent of Israeli defenders. Sayeret Golani was tasked to retake the strategic location. On October 21st, 1973 Sayeret Golani members begin scaling the steep cliffs at the base of Mt. Hernon. Six hours later, at 0200 the next day, they reached the top and the fighting began. By 0730 a firebase had been secured near the cable car to the top of the mountain. By this time the Golani fighters were using RPGs and rifle fired grenades liberated from dead Syrian defenders to augment their attack, causing many of the defending Syrians to flee or surrender. At 1100 hours, the Israeli and Golani brigade flags were raised to the top of the base's listening post antennae. The nine hour battle had killed 55 Golani members and wounded 79 others. Captain Vinnik (posthumously advanced to the rank of Major), leader of the Sayeret, was also killed. Even though mortally wounded in the beginning stages of the battle, he had continued to direct his commandos until he had finally been carried down the mountain in a stretcher. Sayeret Golani uses a gruelling selection process that can end at any time washouts are sent to the regular units to serve out their commitments. Upon completion of the Gibush (selection phase), potential commandos are trained in a vast array of necessary skills. Training is said to last about a year and 8 months.

The curriculum includes a broad array of new techniques to learn and master. Skills such as parachuting, demolitions, escape and evasion, survival, and intelligence work are covered. The soldiers of Sayeret Golani are expected to be proficient with all of the weapons used in their area of operation. Due to the nature of their operations, they also have their own urban warfare training centre known as hell town. Members who pass all the tests and training are rewarded with the badge of the Sayeret, a small metal pin with a flying tiger as the emblem. Dating back to the beginning of the Sayeret, this is their symbol and where they get their unofficial name, Ha'Namer Ha'Me'ufaf, the Flying Tiger

Sayeret Tzanhanim

Sayeret Tzanhanin is a commando force roughly analogous to the United States Army's Rangers. They are capable of airborne operations, and have conducted many long range patrols into Lebanon since the Lebanon War. Sayeret Tzanhanin's most public mission was the raid on the Entebbe Airport in Uganda. In that action they assisted Sayeret Mat'kal in the liberation of 103 Israeli and Jewish hostages being held there. Sayeret Tzanhanin was responsible for preventing the Ugandan Army from posing as a threat to the operation as well as placing beacons that allowed the Israeli C-130s to take off from the pitch dark runways. During Operation Law and Order, Sayeret Tzanhanin neutralized the Shi'ite Hizbollah terrorist presence in the strategically located town of Maidun. During the urban battle that saw RPGs, .50 caliber machine guns, and LAW rockets used at point blank range, over 50 terrorists were killed. Two Sayeret Tzanhanin officers and one NCO were killed, dozens of others were wounded. During the Gibush, a three day long training and testing period, potential recruits are rigorously monitored as they are taken to the limits of their physical and mental stamina. Only the strongest survive. Out of a hundred candidates, only a few dozen will be allowed to progress beyond the Gibush. One of the final events in their training is the Masa'a Kumta, or Beret March. During this exercise Tzanhanin candidates endure a 90km forced march (roughly 50 miles) with full gear (this can include anti tank missile launching units) over rough terrain. Sayeret Tzanhanin commandos are trained in the use of numerous weapons. Assault rifles such as the M-16, AK-47, and Galil 5.56mm are familiar to its members; as are the FN-MAG and a IMI modified M-14 sniper rifle. Grenades, mortars, LAW rockets, and RPGs are also part of their arsenal


Little is known about Mista'aravim. They are a secretive unit that uses disguise and surprise as their main weapons. Originally two units; Shimson (Gaza Strip) and Duvdevan (West bank) were created. Shimson was later disbanded and it's members used to created the Egoz Unit. The unit was created in a time of dire need; as such some of the original members came from another highly-trained Shavet 13. Mista'Aravim is the Hebrew word or phrase meaning "to become an Arab." Members of Duvdevan dress in traditional Arab clothing in an effort to blend in and neutralize members of the Intifadah (an Arab effort to remove Israeli's from the occupied regions). Not only do they dress like Arabs, the members are trained to act and think like them. In addition to providing intelligence to the General Staff and IDF, Sayeret Duvdevan is tasked with performing counter-terrorist and hostage rescue missions in occupied territories. They can move around more effectively than traditionally dressed IDF soldiers and operate without attracting attention. In one unintentional demonstration of their effectiveness, a Duvdevan operative was passed by Defense Minister Moshe Arens and an entourage of high ranking IDF officials and a team of Shin Bet security men. The security team was understandably upset when they found out that they had missed a heavily armed operator, but they were fortunate such talent was on their side. The Mistaaravim soldiers undergo a different training environment due to the different nature of their operations. Because they are mainly operating in crowded cities in small groups, the normal training regiment for standard infantry and long-range patrol is cut down to 2-3 weeks. Due to the ever-changing pattern of streets and buildings in their area of operations, they focus on realtime drone and satellite photo navigation.

In addition, an extensive course is taught on how to blend in, covering such things as customs, dress, makeup techniques to change appearances, and languages. Also different, more time is spent on unarmed combat than normal. This is due to the unit's operations in highly crowded areas where gunfire can cause more civilian casualties than enemy ones. Members of Mistaaravim carry small weapons like the micro-uzis that are easily concealed and carried. Short-barreled M-16's and sniper are carried when firepower is more crucial than concealability. All members are proficient at close quarters combat and have been trained with the ability to hit targets while running through obstacles


On May 15, 1974, three members of Nayif Hawatmeh's DFLP seized a schoolhouse and over 100 students in Ma'alot. The terrorists wired the school with explosive charges as a protective measure. Sayeret Mat'kal was called in to free the students. Their plan required that a sniper kill one of the terrorists, providing the entry team with a three second window to enter unnoticed. While hitting the terrorist, the snipers shot did not instantly kill him and gun fire accented with grenade explosions soon rocked the building. Twenty-two children were killed and over 60 wounded. Because of this incident, known as the Ma'alot massacre, Yechida Meyuchedet Le'Milchama was formed. Since 1974, Ya'Ma'M has trained continuously in the CT mission. Ya'Ma'M is indeed an elite unit; only soldiers who have previously served in combat units are accepted. Like other elite Israeli units members of Ya'Ma'M undergo a Gibush selection phase ( in their case 5-6 days long). Training is vigorous and demanding, lasting eight months from start to the day members join the unit. Weapons in their arsenal include mini-uzis, stun grenades, and low-light surveillance equipment. Ya'Ma'M members are also expected to be proficient in all weapons that their enemies might posses, from knives to rocket powered grenades. Ya'Ma'M snipers are considered the finest in all of Israel. Their first true test didn't come until March 7, 1988, when three members of el-Fatah's Force 17 special operations unit crossed the border and commandeered a car. A chase ensued; eventually the terrorists abandoned their car and ambushed a bus, taking 9 prisoners. A stalemate ensued.

Ya'Ma'M arrived and set up camp while the local police district commander attempted to negotiate with the terrorists. At 1000 hours gunfire was heard from inside the bus. Dissatisfied with the results they were getting, the terrorists had killed a hostage. The decision was made to enter the bus and take down the terrorists. At 1015 more shot were heard and Ya'Ma'M rushed into action. Seconds later all three terrorists were dead; but they had managed to kill two more hostages in their second execution. In recent years Ya'Ma'M's skills have been rediscovered and they are tasked with more than their original roles. Some members have operated under-cover in civilian clothes (similar to Mista'Aravim). Ya'Ma'M members have even been reported as participating in long-ranged reconnaissance missions in Lebannon, although their actions were always credited to other units. Because of their versatile abilities, Ya'Ma'M has taken on the special operations duties for the Shabach (Israeli General Security Service) and will also operate under the name Yechida Meyuchedet Le'Milchama baterror (The Special Unit For War Against Terrorism) from time to time.

Palsar 7 and 500

The Israeli Palsars are the reconnaissance units of the Israeli 7th and 500th Armor Brigade. The 7th and 500th are Israel's elite armored units and would be used to penetrate through enemy lines in wartime and gain as much territory as possible. As such, they need a special reconnaissance unit to find paths for them and to clear lanes through mine fields. Palsar 7 and 500 serve in this role quite well. Members of the Palsars are trained in navigation, scouting, mine clearing, and intelligence gathering. Soldiers are taught standard infantry skills and then anti-armour tactics to enable them to perform their mission. Communications skills are stressed, and members will also go through a nighttime 4x4 driving class to ensure they can operate day and night and in bad weather. Members of the Palsars are considered to be among the best land-navigation experts in Israel and many end up teaching at the Israeli Recon and Patrol School at Balish Army Base. The units are outfitted with many weapons and tools to complete their tasks. For defence the members carry the M-16/M4 carbine with M203 grenade launcher. Heavier weaponry includes RPG's (Rocket Powered Grenades), LAWs (Light Anti-tank Weapon) and the Israeli Viper mine clearing system. The Palsars are small units, with only 18-20 people in each, and operate independently of each other. Each Palsar is divided into two teams of 9-10 Soldiers. The need and effectiveness of the Palsars was proven in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when they lead their respective armour brigade into the Golan heights. Palsar losses were high, at 29 killed and 7 wounded, but the Syrian armour was smashed and the Golan heights remain in Israeli control to this day.


Unit 5101, better known as Shaldag, is primarily tasked with targeting enemy structures and vehicles for assault by Israeli fighting aircraft. Using their high-energy laser designators, they can mark targets for fighter-bomber launched laser-guided bombs or Hellfire missiles from Israeli AH-64 helicopters. Many times this involves long range patrols to the target sites. Because of this Shaldag is also sometimes used for reconnaissance. They also provide assistance and operate in Counter Terrorism and hostage rescue operations. They are staged out of Palmahaim Air base; the unit comprises 40-50 soldiers, with five to six teams of eight to nine operators. They are regularly outfitted with M-16 or M4A1 assault rifles with the M203 grenade launcher attached. When performing Counter-Terrorist/hostage rescue duties they carry the Sig-Sauer or Glock 9mm series pistols and the Mauser SR 82/66 sniper rifle. Members of Shaldag are considered elite, and go through a rigorous selection and training phase much like members of other Israeli units such as Sayeret Matkal and Sayeret Tzanhanim. Their training consists of long marches, basic and advanced land navigation, and coordination and radio communications with Israeli Air Force and Army pilots. It is reported that these soldiers go through a minimum of 1 year and 8 months of training before they are considered operationally ready. Members of Shaldag were able to prove their worth in the 1996 Lebanon action by finding and designating mobile rocket launchers for destruction. These launchers had been used in unguided terror attacks along the Israeli-Israeli border.

Unit 5707

Despite the lack of a sinister or memorable name, Unit 5707 has proven itself to be an effective group of soldiers. Born out of a need in the 1996 Lebanon action, 5707 provides pre-bombardment intel and post-bombardment bomb damage assessments. This duty was taken from Unit 5101, also known as Shaldag. During the Lebanon action, Lebanese terrorists took to launching long-range rockets from heavily populated areas. The global press made carpet bombings of these neighbourhoods impossible and precision strikes against these groups mandatory. Unit 5707 was created to go in and locate these targets and ensure that no civilians were about. Using advanced infra-red and low-light level imaging systems, 5707 would provide real-time BDA's (Bomb Damage Assessments) to pilots and command as well as point out fleeing vehicles and soldiers. If the situation warrants it (such as a terrorist headquarters that is now populated by very dead terrorists) members will search the wreckage for documents that might provide useful intelligence. 5707 is based out of Palmahim Air Force Base and primarily operates in the Lebanese theatre. The unit is split into three to four teams, with seven or eight soldiers on each team. Members are armed with the M-16 or M4 assault rifles, normally with the M203 grenade launcher fixed for added fire power.

Unit 669

Unit 669 is the Israeli Airforce unit tasked with CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue). They are trained to operate behind enemy lines and rescue pilots who have been shot down and possibly injured. It is assumed that the pilots will be injured and surrounded by enemy forces. Because of this, members are trained extensively as medics and trauma specialists in addition to their military skills. In addition to the many medic/infantry soldiers present on a team, 2 fully rated doctors are also attached to each team. Their home base's location is classified (Read: I don't know either), but it is known that teams are composed of four to five soldiers in peace time and between eight and nine during wartime. There are between five and seven teams during peace time but a reorganization during wartime increases team size and cuts it down to three or four teams. Most members carry the M-16/M4A1 with the M203 grenade launcher attached. Doctors carry the Micro 9mm Uzi and/or Sig-Sauer and Glock 9mm pistols. Unit 669 is supported in the air by Bell 206 and 212 helicopters as well as Sikorsky Blackhawks. All are outfitted for stretchers and come equipped with hoists to raise pilots and 669 medics. The 212 can also be armed with Hydra 70mm rockets and a .50 cal (12.7mm) In times of war, at least two AH-64 attack helicopters would be permanently attached.


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