4 July 1976 - the most famous page in stories divisions MATKAL. The board of Air France was on the eve captured by terrorists and hijacked to Uganda. The plane landed at Entebbe airport under the protectorate of Ugandan President Idi Amin.
Despite the fact that the African dictator used to study flight courses in Israel, the political leadership failed to convince him to resolve the situation peacefully. Go Amin generally liked the situation.
Terrorists from the PFLP and the German terrorist organization Revolutionary Cells captured 248 passengers and 12 crew members from various countries. The whole world was closely watching the situation and Idi Amin was bathing in the glory.
Soon the terrorists freed all the hostages except the Israelis and the Jews (checked by name). The French crew, at the initiative of the captain, refused to leave the passengers and stayed with the Jews.
It was hard to imagine that Israel would decide to operate for 3800 kilometers from its border, in the heart of a not-so-friendly Africa. But the then leadership of the country went for broke.
The operation was very carefully prepared. In strict secrecy, an operational headquarters was created. Immediately, several departments began to carefully develop an assault plan, collecting any information by grain.
The Foreign Intelligence Service has provided detailed drawings, photographs and reports on the airport and on Uganda as a whole. The main role in the development of the plan was played by Colonel Ehud Barak and Colonel Shai Tamari, as well as an employee of Mossad, Gal Schelma.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin did not rush to allow the operation, while then-Minister of Defense Shimon Peres insisted on an army variant of the decision.
Four Hercules C-130 cargo planes flew from Sharm al-Sheikh through the Red Sea to Kenya without waiting for a government decision. In Kenya, they refueled and headed for Entebe.
The best assault group of MATKAL fighters under the command of Colonel Netanyagu and the deputy major Muki Bezer took part in the operation.
Consolidated detachment from the landing brigade and the Golani brigade.
These were mainly fighters of brigade special forces. The task of which was to block the perimeter of the terminal, to ensure the smooth operation of the assault team, as well as the destruction of the aircraft of the Air Force and the Uganda radar in order to secure the evacuation. The command of the operation was assigned to the Army General Dan Shomron.
The first to land on Uganda were the boots of the paratrooper detachment under the command of Doron Almog. They took control of the perimeter of the runway and captured the control tower of the new terminal.
The landing of troops from the tail of the C-130 Hercules.
The same Mercedes with MATKAL fighters on board the Hercules C-130 aircraft.
Driving past the two guards of the Ugandan army, the convoy lingered. Instead of ignoring them, Yoni Netanyagu ordered to neutralize the guards and fired Beretta M71 pistols with a silencer at them, but one of the guards survived and tried to resist, AK shots and machine gun fire alerted the soldiers.
The effect of surprise was lost and the cars rushed to the terminal. Flour Bezer and his detachment went to storm the terminal, and Yoni moved to the previously planned collection point outside. At the same time, a battle began with the soldiers guarding the terminal.
Fearing that they strongly detained Bezer’s group, Yoni raised his men to the attack and began to attack. A minute later, a soldier from the tower shot at Yoni, a bullet hit him in the head. Yoni died before the evacuation.
The command of the entire assault group took Muki Bezer. In the terminal hall there were five terrorists, the assault group destroyed them on the move. One special forces soldier was injured.
A hostage was also killed by the fire of terrorists, and a young Belgian Jew was killed by special forces, who for some reason jumped to his feet during the assault and was shot by mistake.
At this time, a group of paratroopers seized the new terminal, having one wounded. Two armored personnel carriers led by Shaul Mofaz suppressed gun emplacements on the towers, and the Omer Bar Leva group destroyed the Uganda Air Force MiG-17 fighters.
Soon all the released hostages were loaded onto planes and headed for Kenya. Uganda was left without an air force, the soldiers at Idi Amin were fewer at 45.
Go Amin and Yasser Arafat, friendly photo.
One hostage 75-year-old Dora Bloch was hospitalized at a local hospital on the eve of the assault. Later, enraged, Idi Amin ordered two officers of the special services to kill her.
The special division of the General Staff lost its commander, one of Israel’s best sons, Jonathan Netanyahu. Another fighter was seriously wounded from a pistol into the spine and remained paralyzed.
Nevertheless, this operation went down in history as one of the most successful and complex. And if no one argues with the first, the second statement makes the Israeli military smile.
The seizure of the Air France plane and the Sabena plane, as well as a number of high-profile acts of air piracy, were planned by the Palestinian PFLP activist Wadi Haddad, who closely cooperated with the KGB of the USSR.
7 April 1980. Five Palestinian terrorists infiltrated Israel’s northern border and took 8 children hostage in Kibbutz Misgaw Am. On the threshold of the house with the children, one of the kibbutz residents was killed trying to prevent the terrorists.
Again, demands were made. The same evening, the reconnaissance company of the Golani brigade attempted to storm the house, but the assault was stopped by an order of the commander-in-chief.
When attempting to assault a soldier was killed. It was only in the morning that a successful assault was already carried out by the safet MATKAL. Hostages were released, the terrorists were killed. One child died whose terrorists killed at night.
Shops and cartridges for AK among children's dolls. Picture taken after the assault.
In 1982, another war began - the Lebanon war (today it is the First Lebanon). The MATKAL detachment, which consisted mainly of new recruits who had just completed accelerated courses, was attached to an engineering company that conducted demining in South Lebanon.
On June 9, a part of the detachment advanced for reconnaissance and occupied the height north of Mount Hermon with a good view - the situation was absolutely calm. In the morning, around 9: 00, the position of the special forces was first discovered by a Syrian helicopter. The fighters opened fire and the helicopter disappeared.
The commander of the detachment, Lieutenant Ilan Dvir, decided to change the position, going deeper a little further north. Despite the fact that his link was the youngest call in MATKAL and has not yet completed the full cycle of preparation.
Suddenly, a strange picture emerged in front of the detachment's eyes - in the valley, they walked calmly to their full height around 30-Syrian commandos. They moved across a high wheat field and were clearly visible.
At some point, Ilana even offended the negligence of the Syrian commander. But troubles soon began. Israeli armored personnel carriers behind the detachment became targets for the Syrian shelling.
One of the missiles landed right on the position of the special forces and seriously wounded one soldier (he died three days later). It turned out that the chosen position was not so successful, since there were many dead zones in the valley below them.
In one of these dead zones, they did not notice the second detachment of Syrian DSB. A small squad of novice MATKAL was under the crossfire of the enemy.
Hearing the shooting, a young officer from artillery troops rushed to the position immediately attached to the detachment for the interaction of the armed forces. In addition to everything, Ilan Dvir lost contact with the command, the radio did not work, or rather received the signal, but the transmission did not work.
Then Ilan sent four fighters to the rear to report that they had fallen. The rest of the fighters Dvir ordered to open fire, but only on the upcoming Syrians. Yet the position of special forces at a height was much better than the Syrians in the valley.
But the lieutenant ordered not to shoot at static targets, but only to cut off attempts at the offensive. In general, according to the memories of the lieutenant, at that time he was sure that the situation was completely under control and there were no problems. Since the enemy was at a glance, and he and the fighters in a comfortable defensive position.
But his platoon consisted of twenty inexperienced young fighters who had not yet understood that this was a real fight. But this was perfectly understood by the commander of the training (preparatory) company MATKAL located behind the rear of the Ilan detachment.
Hearing that the squad of newcomers lit up at the height and got involved in a battle with several dozen Syrian commandos, Shay Avital quickly ordered all the nearest units to abandon their affairs and focus on the Ilan group, realizing that history smells like serious complications.
The first responded to the order was Major Moshe (Boogie) Ayalon (the future commander-in-chief of the IDF), at that time, Shaya’s deputy for the training company MATKAL. Ayalon, with a detachment entrusted to him, carried out a sweep near the lying villages of the terrorists.
Being a couple of kilometers from the site, Ayalon receives a report that the large Syrian forces in trucks are being pulled to the height where the Ilan squad is defending. Moshe Ayalon goes on the run and soon comes to the position of Ilan.
Young people are ordered to retreat, leaving more experienced fighters in their positions. But since Ilan has already established himself in position, he is not in a hurry to carry out this order. Meanwhile, Syrian reinforcement continues to arrive.
Syrian infantry fighting vehicles also appear in the valley to cover the offensive commandos. The distance to them was more than 1200 meters, which did not allow the fighters to effectively use the M47 Dragon rocket.
Then the squad Ayalon decided to reduce the distance while leaving a more advantageous defensive position. But at that time lieutenant-artilleryman Shamil Peleg, who had been working with special forces for two months, reached the top.
Art corrector Shamil Peleg, South Lebanon 1982.
After examining the battlefield, he recalled that the situation was similar to the tactical game that they had been working out the other day. And the lieutenant takes a bold decision to use cluster shells.
Prior to this, the IDF did not use them in a combat situation, and today it does not use them - this weapon Has a reputation for inaccurate with a high radius of scatter. In each such projectile 88 armor-piercing grenades.
Lt. Peleg makes a decision and causes artillery fire on Syrian positions with cluster shells. In minutes, the alignment on the field has changed. Eight infantry fighting vehicles were hit, crews and attack aircraft began to scatter in panic, 40 Syrians killed by artillery fire.
AOI soldiers consider battered BMP. 1982 South Lebanon.
16 April 1988 was killed in Tunisia by Abu Jihad - one of the key figures of Palestinian terror. There is still no official version. A number of foreign sources claim that this is the work of MATCAL.
I personally strongly doubt this, if this is the work of the Israeli special services, it is clearly not the special forces of the General Staff. Such work, as a rule, is performed by the Mossad illegal agents.
28 July 1989. Special Forces, on a tip from intelligence, conducted a jewelry operation. In 2, at night, a special forces detachment abducted Abdal Karim Obeid, the leader of the Hezbollah Shiite terrorist organization in southern Lebanon, from his home.
The abduction was part of an exchange plan for Israeli airborne navigator Ron Arad, who was captured by Hezbollah. The deal did not take place, the fate of Ron Arad is not known to this day.
Sheikh Obeid was released after 15 years in prison at 2004 in exchange for returning the bodies of the abducted Israeli soldiers and in exchange for a former high-ranking army officer abducted by Hezbollah abroad.
In order to learn more about the fate and whereabouts of Ron Arad, the soldiers of MATKAL also kidnapped the commander of the group that captured Arad, Mustafa Dirani. But he was eventually released on an exchange in 2004.
2 August 2006. The special unit of MATKAL together with the special forces of the Air Force Shaldag raided the Hezbollah Headquarters in Baalbek, Lebanon.
During the operation, Hezbollah’s 19 fighters were killed, documents, media, and prisoners were captured. One soldier was slightly injured.
But after seventeen days, the detachment returned to the Baalbek area and joined the battle during which a division officer and two soldiers were killed.
The loudest failure of the special forces of the General Staff was the operation to free the hostages in Maalot 15 in May 1974. Three well-armed terrorists infiltrated the city of Maalot in northern Israel.
They shot the car, then killed a Jewish family including a pregnant woman and a small child. Then, in the morning, they broke into a school where a large group of schoolchildren from the neighboring town of Safed spent the night.
They drove everyone into one class, set explosives and laid out grenades. The terrorists let one student drop to pass the demands, another part escaped during the capture itself.
In the morning, in the hands of terrorists there were more than 80 schoolchildren, mostly girls. By morning, there were guys from the special forces of the General Staff, and Moshe Dayan - then the Minister of Defense.
It was decided to wear down the terrorists by negotiations and take the school by storm. Fresh was the memory of the recent success with the plane Sabena.
But the situation here arose much more complicated. Mota Gore, the then head of the General Staff, insisted on continuing negotiations, Moshe Dayan insisted on a forceful solution with an assault.
In 17: 25 began the assault. It started very badly, the special forces sniper missed and only easily touched the terrorist, the groups were not synchronized to the beginning of the assault and he began erratically.
A group of fighters storming the entrance came under fire and one of the fighters voluntarily decided to throw a phosphorus grenade at a terrorist. The smoke from the grenade worsened the visibility in the corridor and the assault team passed the desired turn.
The terrorists realized what was happening and one of them threw grenades at the class and opened fire on the students. The children began to jump out the window and run away. The assault group realized its mistake and orientated it to kill the terrorists.
The consequences of the operation were tragic - almost all the children received injuries of varying degrees. 17 apprentices and 4 apprentices died in the assault. Another girl died of her injuries later.
The soldiers evacuate the wounded after the assault in Maalot.
This operation clearly demonstrated that in order to successfully free the hostages in such a difficult situation, much more than courage, heroism and combat experience are needed. This operation became a mourning day for the unit and for the State.
The fact is that in those years there were no concepts like HRT (Hostage Rescue Team), there were no specialized detachments sharpened for a specific primary task - to save hostages.
From a special unit originally created for special reconnaissance and sabotage operations, circumstances made a universal detachment to deal with all sorts of misfortunes that Israel has always lacked.
In most situations that occurred with the special forces of the General Staff, it worked. It worked thanks to the excellent combat and intellectual qualities of the fighters and good combat skills.
But this time the system failed - there was no time for proper preparation and per-second testing of the assault, there was no experience of such operations, there was no time to develop a thorough plan, punctures were discovered in the training of snipers. In other words, it was impossible to fly directly into the army and kill everyone.
It is this failed operation of army special forces that is considered the main reason for the creation in Israel of specialized units sharpened for the release of hostages as the main destination.
At present, the special forces of the General Staff MATKAL is still one of the most elite units of Israel. Half of the entire army and political elite of Israel left the ranks of this unit. Ministers, Commanders-in-Chief, Commanders of Host Clans, Politicians and Prime Ministers.
Today, in order to become a cadet in a department, one must pass a physical examination, a test of physical endurance, one common for different special forces and one special from MATKAL (5 days), then an even more detailed medical examination, psychological tests and interviews.
Also check for access to sensitive information. During this process, many interested people are eliminated and only a few get a chance to start the course of the young fighter.
The cadets spend the first 4 of the month at the combined-arms command and control center of the airborne brigade together with the paratroopers, then move on to special training.
It includes exhausting physical activities, navigation on the ground with elements of survival, masking on the ground, mountaineering, parachute training, hand-to-hand combat, handling of various types of weapons, various techniques and fire fighting tactics.
Constant emphasis is placed on the possibility of working under pressure and stress, the options for capturing the enemy, working with special means and much more are being worked out. The total duration of the preparatory courses is about two years.
Each fighter signs a contract for at least a year - that is, the minimum service life in a unit is four years. The names, faces and surnames of the active fighters are classified, operations are both current and most of the operations of previous years, too.
The fighters do not wear distinctive marks; as a rule, when they leave for dismissal, they are dressed in the uniform of the landing troops, the red one takes the paratrooper and the badge about the end of the parachute courses. Foreign analogs of MATCAL can be considered in relative order - the British SAS, the American DELTA, the Russian Vympel, and the GRU special forces.
Fighters MATKAL on the march. Fighter MATKAL poses with a Belgian machine gun FN Mag, the photo was taken in 60-x. Then officially this machine gun was not in service with Israel.
FN MAG FN MAG