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Unit 212
Sayeret Maglan
Unit insignia
Active 1986 - present
Country  Israel
Role Special reconnaissance
Part of 89th "Oz" Brigade
98th Division
Colonel Avi Blot

Maglan (Hebrew: מגלן. Also known as Unit 212 or Sayeret Maglan) is an Israeli Special Forces unit which specializes in operating behind enemy lines and deep in enemy territory using advanced technologies and weaponry. Though Maglan is part of the IDF's Commando Brigade, its operators undergo basic training with the Paratroopers Brigade.[1]

The unit's name means "Ibis" (In Hebrew: Maglan). According to one officer, "Maglan is a bird that knows how to adapt in every situation."[2] A relatively new unit, Maglan was founded in 1986, but their presence only became publicly known in 2006.


Very little is known about the unit, only that the force performs top secret operations behind enemy lines, deep within hostile territory. The IDF keeps Maglan's designated missions a secret and gives no information about it or the operations in which the unit takes part. The secretive unit has clocked-up countless hours of high-risk operations conducted well behind enemy lines - most of which have never been declassified.[2]

Like Sayeret Matkal, although the operators in the unit wear a red beret, brown combat boots and conduct basic training at one of the paratroopers' bases, they are not part of the Paratroop Brigade. Soldiers also do not wear the insignia of the unit in public.

Much like Sayeret Matkal, Maglan answers to the IDF's General Staff and not to one of its regional commands.

During the Second Lebanon War, the unit took part in many operations and achieved great success. On July 19th a force from the unit seized a fortified Hezbollah dugout adjacent to the Shaked post; two IDF soldiers and five Hezbollah operatives were killed in the battle.[3] Operation Beach Boys, later on in the war, saw the unit embedded along the western coastal strip of Lebanon where they destroyed 150 Hezbollah targets, forty of which were rocket launchers. Maglan oversaw the destruction of command sites, trucks, caches of ammunition and infrastructure. Their activities reduced rocket fire on Israel's northern towns by about 40%.[2]

During Operation Protective Edge on July 30, 2014, three soldiers from the elite Maglan unit, St.-Sgt. Matan Gotlib (21), St.-Sgt. Omer Hay (21) and St.-Sgt. Guy Algranati (20) were killed and 15 others wounded by explosions in a booby-trapped tunnel shaft dug by Hamas.[4]


Recruits train extensively for 18 months in what is considered to be one of the most challenging training courses in the IDF.[5] The trainees have 6 months of basic training and advanced training within the Paratroopers Brigade, including a parachuting course. The soldiers then must complete a 100 km (62 mi) beret march (Hebrew: Masa Kumta) to Maglan's base to continue their training. The recruits go through courses in navigation, camouflage, observation, specialized warfare, and special operational devices.[6] Physical standards are high, with candidates required to carry equipment weighing about 70% of their body mass over several dozen kilometers. About one-third of the candidates drop out due to the harsh nature of the program.[7]

Each recruit also goes through the IDF's commander's course. Towards the end of training, the recruits learn specific skills according to the speciality of their unit. The end of training ceremony is held secretly and closed to the public.[5]

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IDF to unite elite units in new commando brigade". ynet. Retrieved 2015-11-26. 
  2. ^ a b c Volf, Nir (June 17, 2011). "Sword of Maglan". Israel Hayom. Retrieved December 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ Gal Perl Finkel, The IDF vs subterranean warfare, The Jerusalem Post, August 16, 2016.
  4. ^ "3 IDF soldiers killed in booby-trapped tunnel shaft in Gaza". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2015-12-20. 
  5. ^ a b "יחידת מגלן". Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  6. ^ "עמותת מגלן - על היחידה". Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "נפתלי בנט - ההבטחה הגדולה של הציונות הדתית". 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  9. ^ "טל רוסו | פרופיל". 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  10. ^ "Col Dror Weinberg". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. November 15, 2002. Retrieved December 20, 2015.