General Staff Reconnaissance Unit 269
Sayerot Mat'kal, also known as General Staff Reconnaissance Unit 269, is the
unit most people are referring to when discussing the Israeli war against
terrorism. Operatives from this unit have led, or been an instrumental part
of, almost every notable counterterrorist (and antiterrorist) operation
conducted on behalf of Israel from 1957 to the present. It is also the
primary unit dedicated to hostage rescue missions within Israel. Sayerot
Mat'kal has been assisted on occasion by other Israeli units such as the
elite Sayeret Tzanhanim, Flotilla 13, and Sayeret Golani. During periods of
war, this unit is tasked with the most risky intelligence gathering
operations, a function it has reportedly accomplished successfully on
Operations of note include the following:
Operation Isotope - On May 8-9, 1972, Sayerot commandos disguised themselves
as Lod Airport maintenance personnel before storming a Sebena Belgian
Airlines jetliner that had been hijacked by Black September terrorists.
Operation Crate 3 - In June of 1972, concern was mounting over the fate of
three Israeli airmen who had been taken captured by Syrian authorities. The
decision was made that in order to be in a position to negotiate their
release, Israel would need bargaining chips of their own. In response,
Sayerot operatives, in an operation that has become their trademark,
kidnapped five Syrian intelligence officers who were conducting a border tour
with Palestinian terrorists at the time.
Operation Spring of Youth - On the night of April 9-10, 1973, Sayerot
commandos, one disguised as a woman, conducted the assassinations of Black
September leaders. What was remarkable about this operation was that the
targets were in three separate locations and all in West Beirut, which was at
the time enemy-held territory.
Worth mentioning also are press reports that operatives from this unit were
responsible for the assassination of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
deputy commander and wanted terrorist, Abu Jihad in 1988.
Source: The Terrorism Research Center.