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Sunday, March 25, 2012

IDF Elite Unit Combats Hamas Smuggling Tunnels


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Between March 9th and March 14th, terrorists from the Hamas ruled Gaza Strip fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli population centers. These rockets are smuggled into the Gaza Strip through a vast network of smuggling tunnels, often hidden under residential structuers. The IDF Combat Engineering Corps' elite unit 'Yahalom' (Diamond) detects and destroys these tunnels, in order to cut off the weapons supply to terror organizations such as Hamas.


Yahalom (Hebrew language: יהל"ם - יחידה הנדסית למשימות מיוחדות) is a special elite combat engineering unit of the Israeli Engineering Corps of the Israel Defense Forces. The name "Yahalom" (Diamond in Hebrew) is an abbreviation of "Special Operations Engineering Unit".
Sayeret Yahalom specializes in special engineering missions that include:
  • Commando and Counter-Terrorism missions.
  • Accurate demolitions and planting of pinpoint explosives.
  • Defusing bombs, landmines and unexploded ordnance (Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)).
  • 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 is a classified unit and almost none of its special activities are exposed to the public.Public accounts of its activities usually just credit a "combat engineering force"; a term that can equally describe regular Engineering sappers, IDF Caterpillar D9 operators and infantry engineering companies. Jane's Defence Weekly has claimed that Sayeret Yahalom are working closely with Sayeret Matkal and Shayetet 13, by providing them with demolition, explosive and sabotage skills. Most of the equipment that Yahalom has developed for its missions is classified. Yahalom maintains secrecy to make it more difficult for enemies to develop countermeasures.