Not a lot is known about Sayeret Maglan. They are one of the most shadowy units in the IDF.

Maglan is a Special Operations unit specializing in covert operations deep behind enemy lines. In recent years the unit under the command of now-retired Maj. Gen. Tal Russo turned into a formidable force going after some of the worst terrorists in Gaza and the West Bank. These kill or capture operations were more kill than capture and, as usual, they managed to remain in the shadows. It was during the second Lebanon war in 2006 that the unit became known to the general public. Maglan was awarded a unit citation by the Central Command for its performance during the war.


Maglan has seen many battles and has changed its mission focus since its founding in 1986. During its first years, Maglan was considered a unit composed of outcasts, soldiers who tried for other special operations units in the IDF but were rejected because they were too crazy. The regular units in the IDF and their commanders thought of them as soldiers that knew no boundaries and to whom IDF restrictions did not apply. The unit’s members walked in civilian attire or in sneakers, and usually said ‘No’ to commanders other than their own. A spate of severe operational and disciplinary mishaps gave Maglan a bad name. However, nowadays we know that this was simply not true, it was part of their cover.


Today, Maglan remains largely in the shadows, training and going on operations that will remain classified for many years to come. Like their namesake – Magaln means Ibis in Hebrew – they know how to search, lure and kill their prey.