Yechida Meyuchedet Le'MilchamaOn May 15, 1974, three members of Nayif Hawatmeh's DFLP seized a schoolhouse and over 100 students in Ma'alot. The terrorists wired the school with explosive charges as a protective measure.. Sayeret Mat'kal was called in to free the students. Their plan required that a sniper kill one of the terrorists, providing the entry team with a three second window to enter unnoticed. While hitting the terrorist, the snipers shot did not instantly kill him and gun fire accented with grenade explosions soon rocked the building. Twenty-two children were killed and over 60 wounded. Because of this incident, known as the Ma'alot massacre, Yechida Meyuchedet Le'Milchama was formed.
Since 1974, Ya'Ma'M has trained continuously in the CT mission. Ya'Ma'M is indeed an elite unit; only soldiers who have previously served in combat units are accepted. Like other elite Israeli units members of Ya'Ma'M undergo a Gibush selection phase (
in their case 5-6 days long
). Training is vigorous and demanding, lasting eight months from start to the day members join the unit.
Weapons in their arsenal include mini-uzis, stun grenades, and low-light surveillance equipment. Ya'Ma'M members are also expected to be proficient in all weapons that their enemies might posses, from knives to rocket powered grenades. Ya'Ma'M snipers are considered the finest in all of Israel.
Their first true test didn't come until March 7, 1988, when three members of el-Fatah's Force 17 special operations unit crossed the border and commandered a car. A chase ensued; eventually the terrorists abandoned their car and ambushed a bus, taking 9 prisoners. A stalemate ensued.
Ya'Ma'M arrived and set up camp while the local police district commander attempted to negotiate with the terrorists. At 1000 hours gunfire was heard from inside the bus. Dissatified with the results they were getting, the terrorists had killed a hostage. The decision was made to enter the bus and take down the terrorists. At 1015 more shot were heard and Ya'Ma'M rushed into action. Seconds later all three terrorists were dead; but they had managed to kill two more hostages in their second execution.
In recent years Ya'Ma'M's skills have been rediscovered and they are tasked with more than their original roles. Some members have operated under-cover in civilian clothes ( similar to Mista'Aravim ). Ya'Ma'M members have even been reported as participating in long-ranged reconnaissance missions in Lebannon, although their actions were always credited to other units. Because of their versitile abilities, Ya'Ma'M has taken on the special operations duties for the Shabach ( Israeli General Security Service ) and will also operate under the name Yechida Meyuchedet Le'Milchama baterror ( The Special Unit For War Against Terrorism ). from time to time.