Commander of Elite IDF Unit Says Hezbollah’s Newfound Strength Is Its Achilles Heel
The commander of an elite IDF combat combat unit claims to be benefiting from Hezbollah’s seemingly enhanced strength, as a result of the experience it has gained fighting in the civil war in Syria, and increasingly sophisticated weaponry at its disposal.
Lieutenant Colonel “Yud,” who commands the Egoz Reconnaissance Unit, established to confront the threat posed by Hezbollah, said in an exclusive interview with Walla! on Thursday that his unit has upgraded its capabilities to fight the terrorist group, and has found its Achilles Heel.
The interview was held on the 20th anniversary of the unit’s founding.
“Yud,” a graduate of another elite unit, Sayeret Matkal (in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other illustrious Israeli figures served), explained the apparent paradox of an ever-emboldened Hezbollah — equipped with tanks, planes and artillery — presenting less of a threat than before.
“Our greatest challenge is an invisible enemy,” said “Yud,” who was nearly killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge last summer –“Anywhere he is not invisible, he will be killed…I see opportunities, not problems [in confronting Hezbollah in its current role]. When forced to act in an organized way, [as today in Syria], [Hezbollah] creates points of weakness.”
When he took command of the unit, “Yud” said, he “knew this was an elite unit, a northern reconnaissance unit, which was formed to fight against Hezbollah and had done this with great success. What I didn’t know, was how great its success had been over the years” — having “killed more Hezbollah fighters than any other unit,” by “developing special methods of long-term operations within Lebanese territory, in the days when the regular army could not do this.”
“Yud” said the measure of the unit’s success can be seen in the seriousness with which Hezbollah attaches it.
He added that Egoz was ready to confront Hezbollah’s oft-repeated threat of capturing parts of the Galilee, saying that Egoz had undergone significant improvement since its last engagements with the terror group.
Egoz, today part of Northern Command’s Golani Brigade, was initially formed in 1956 as a special forces unit, but was disbanded in 1964, re-formed in the wake of the Six Day War as a battalion and then disbanded again after the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
In 1995, it was recreated as an anti-guerrilla unit to combat the threat Hezbollah posed to IDF soldiers operating in southern Lebanon.