IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


13th October, 2023 International Relations

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  • Israeli elite special forces wing, Sayeret Matkal, is reportedly on standby to rescue the hostages in Gaza.

What is Sayeret Matkal?

  • Established in 1957, Sayeret Matkal, also known as “the Unit”, is among the world’s most efficient counter-terrorism forces.
  • Sayeret Matkal is chiefly a “field intelligence-gathering unit, conducting deep reconnaissance behind enemy lines to obtain strategic intelligence”, which is also tasked with “counter-terrorism and hostage rescue beyond Israel’s borders.”
  • This highly secretive special operations unit is modelled on the British Special Air Service (SAS) regiment.
  • Also known as the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit or Unit 269, these special forces unit of the IDF has successfully completed several missions including in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and most famously at Entebbe, a city in Uganda.

Do You Know?

In 1976, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Red Army Faction – a German radical leftist group – hijacked a French airliner and flew it to the Entebbe airport. The Palestinian/German hijackers held 94 Jewish passengers and 12 Air France crew members hostage, most of whom were rescued by the Sayeret Matkal commandos.

  • Sayaret Matkal operates from a secret base deep in the Negev Desert in southern Israel.
  • The candidates have to go through a harsh camp known as Gibbush which includes going without sleep for several days, before even being selected for basic training.


  • Many elite Israeli politicians have served in Sayeret Matkal, including former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Naftali Bennett.
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also a veteran of the Unit and took part in several missions, including the 1972 rescue of hijacked Sabena Flight 571 during which he was shot in the shoulder.


Q. Recently, Sayeret Matkal was in the news. What is it?

1.Water Conservation Technology

2.Counter-Terrorism Force

3.An indigenously developed Radar System

4.Indigenous Satellite Navigation System.

Choose the correct code.

1.    A

2.    B

3.    C

4.    D


Option 2. B Counter-Terrorism Force