Yahalom (IDF)

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Combat Engineering Unit for Special Operations - Yahalom
Active Since 1995
Country Israel Israel
Branch Israeli Army
Type Special Unit
Role Combat Engineering Unit for Special Operations
Colors Silver

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:

Organization and activities[edit]

General activities[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.


Arms and Equipment[edit]

  • Recent reports indicate that Yahalom has acquired remote-controlled robots that it can insert into tunnels, obviating the need for human operators to risk their lives. EOD robots for handling improvised explosive devices (IEDs), bombs and explosive charges, and advanced EOD vehicles are standard equipment for all engineering units handling explosives. The Israel Border Police bomb disposal experts use similar equipment. Yahalom also uses the up-armored IDF Caterpillar D9 bulldozer and the remote-controlled "Raam HaShachar" version of the D9 (which were found extremely useful for special operation and CT duties), an armored Excavator with drills, the IDF Puma CEV, and Nakpuma, a Nakpadon APC modified to Yahalom's requirements.

Recruitment and training[edit]

Soldiers from Yahalom at the end of a concluding military exercise.

In order to be accepted into the unit one must enlist with the Israeli Engineering Corps and go through basic training ("Tironut"), where commanders identify the best trainees and select them for "Gibbush" (a five day test of physical and mental condition in intensive field trials). The best graduates of Gibbush are invited to join the unit and received advance training, which takes another year. Because the training takes a total of 1.4 years, the volunteers must agree to serve an extra year (in addition to the mandatory three year service in the IDF). The training includes training in engineering, explosive ordnance disposal, advanced combat and counter-terrorism.

External Links[edit]