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Yamam is Israel's tier 1 Counter terrorism unit. They specialize in hostage-rescue and offensive raids against hostile targets in civilian areas. When it comes to Close-quarters combat, there are very few units in the world that are better.
They are not only Israel’s number one counter-terror unit but they are also considered to be one of the best CT units in the world.
Their primary mission is civilian hostage rescue within Israel's borders. but they are also used for tasks such as extracting police suspects who have barricaded themselves in fortified structures.
Yamam are also trained in basic Arabic and dress to assimilate within the Arab population. This gives them the ability to go undetected and operate deep within hostile areas. Most of the Yamam's activity is classified, and published Yamam operations are often credited to other units.
Yamam are one of the primary reasons Israel has seen a significant drop in organized terror attacks over the past few years.
They are one of the world's most deadly counter terror units and they will not rest until all threats are eliminated.
The Yamam was established in late 1974 after the terror attack known as the Ma'alot massacre. 3 armed Palestinian terrorist infiltrated into Israel from Lebanon and entered Netiv Meir Elementary School in Maalot, taking over 100 children hostage.
A failed rescue attempt by Sayeret Matkal, the IDF’s tier 1 SF unit, resulted in the murder of 21 schoolchildren before the hostage takers were killed.
Since hostage rescue tactics in friendly territory differ from those used in hostile areas, it was decided to establish an elite force which develops and practices a special CQB doctrine for counter-terrorism operations in friendly territory.
Applicants for Yamam must be between 22 and 30 years old and have completed their three-year infantry service in the IDF.
Most of the recruits are comprised of veteran IDF special forces operators from elite tier 1 and tier 2 units such as Sayeret Matkal, Shayetet 13, Duvedevan, Egoz, Maglan and Shaldag. This “All star team” of recruits must complete a gruelling selection process before being indoctrinated into the unit.
The process includes a "hell week" that is said to be one of the hardest in the world. This level of difficulty is achieved because all the applicants are already seasoned combat soldiers. Out of every 1500 applicants to the unit, less than 1% pass the selection process and training. After selection the recruits go through 8 months of specialized training and only then are they accepted into the unit.
The Yamam is independent, training its own operators in all fields, such as sniping, reconnaissance, dog operating, and bomb disposal. As a result, Yamam has a rapid deployment time and high coordination between various squads.
During the Second Intifada, Yamam forces intercepted many terrorists, arresting them or killing them. Several high-profile militants were neutralized by Yamam operators. According to the records, YAMAM killed 179 terrorists during 2000-2005, 50 of them were suicide bombers.
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