Yahalom means diamond in Hebrew- the hardest material in the world. It’s a fitting name for the battle hardened unit that fights Hamas underground in Gaza. Described as the “metro” of the coastal enclave, Hamas’ expansive tunnel system is used by terrorists to hide civilian hostages, conceal weapons, facilitate movement, and establish command centers in civilian-concealed locations under schools and hospitals.
Faced with the formidable task of clearing these tunnels during the ongoing ground offensive attack against Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deploy the Yahalom unit—a specialized force adept in underground warfare and subterranean operations. Established in 1995, the unit expanded after the 2014 Gaza War to counter the escalating threat posed by Hamas’ tunnels.
The Yahalom unit, part of the IDF’s Combat Engineering Corps, comprises specialized companies focusing on tunnel warfare and demolition, explosive experts, bomb and rockets dismantling teams and commando fighters. Tasked with special sabotage missions, demolition, and clearing dangerous battlefields, the unit utilizes advanced technologies, including robots and remote-controlled drones, to minimize human risk. And yet, serving at Yahalom is one of the most demanding and dangerous roles in the IDF.
- Bomb dismantling robots
- Life saving drones
- Night Vision Gear
- Subterranean Radio Equipment
- Drilling Equipment
Enlisting in the Yahalom unit is a rigorous process, involving a sound medical profile and a four-day tryout, in which only 15% pass, followed by a demanding 16-month training program. This comprehensive training covers explosives, counterterrorism training, Israeli martial arts (Krav Maga), and diverse skills such as parachuting and repelling.
Operating discreetly, Yahalom has been the leading army force in Israel’s recent ground assault on Gaza, with soldiers conducting special operations to detect, rig with explosives, and neutralize Hamas tunnels. The IDF emphasizes the unit’s crucial role in countering the grave threat posed by these tunnels as Israel claims it will only stop the war once all tunnels have been demolished.
The urban conflict unfolding in Gaza highlights the significance of the tunnel problem, with Hamas potentially employing the tunnels defensively and offensively against Israeli forces. Yahalom, alongside other special forces units, employs a range of tools, including drones, robots, sensors, drilling equipment, night-vision systems, and radio technologies for tunnel operations. Despite these capabilities, clearing the tunnels remains a formidable challenge.
Complicating matters further is that Hamas is concealing the hostages in the tunnels. This adds a layer of complexity, requiring the IDF to approach operations with care and precision, considering the presence of hostages and civilians used as human shields by Hamas. Hence combat in the tunnels requires the most advanced technology the world has to offer.
Yahalom is spearheading IDF’s war in Hamas’ tunnels. The State of Israel is now switching gears to build out its military capabilities like never before. Together we will win the war against Hamas and bring security back to the people of Israel.
This is a paid promotion by the Yahalom Foundation.