This Israeli special-forces unit is focused on reconnaissance, anti-terrorism and hostage rescue outside of Israel. Sayeret Matkal was formed in 1957 to fill a void in Israel’s special-forces and is made up of candidates selected for their high physical and intellectual characteristics. Candidates undergo eighteen months of training which includes basic infantry school, parachute school, counter-terrorism training and
reconnaissance related training. The force has taken part in many large scale operations since the 1960s. The most famous of these, Operation Entebbe/Thunderbolt, demonstrated the determination and reach of Sayeret Matkal to the world. The operation came to be after several Palestinian and pro-Palestinian
terrorists had taken hostages onboard an airliner which was flown to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Many hostages were released but over 100, mainly Israeli and Jewish hostages, were kept in the airport terminal building. A group of around 100 Israeli commandos, including an assault force of Sayeret Matkal assaulted the position, killing the terrorists and freeing almost all of the hostages.