Gilad Erdan with Mist'aravim
Gilad Erdan with Mist'aravimIsrael Police

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) visited a base of the Yamas, a secretive special forces unit within the Border Police that excels at infiltrating terror hideouts while dressed as Arabs.

Erdan was accompanied by Border Police Commander Major General Ya'akov Kobi Shabtai and Judea and Samaria District head Moshe Barkat. The dignitaries were briefed about the various operations and successes the unit had achieved recently in combatting terrorism.

"The Public Security Minister contributes greatly to Border Police, and in the past year you have thwarted dozens of terrorist attacks," Border Police Commander Major General Yaakov Kobi Shabtai said in a conversation with the soldiers.

The soldiers, who are known as Mista'arvim, are required to pass a long and grueling training course are considered one of the best counterterrorism units in the world. Another unit of Mista'arvim also exists in Duvdevan, a unit in the IDF's Commando Brigade.

In 2015, Yamas members were filmed executing a daring operation in the heart of Hevron in order to arrest a wounded terrorist that was recovering in Hevron's Alhali Hospital. Posing as an Arab family, including a woman preparing to give birth, undercover agents entered the hospital and took him into custody. The man's cousin was shot dead after resisting arrest during the operation.

Yamas is thought to be one of the inspirations behind the hit Israeli series Fauda, which is about an Israeli undercover counter-terrorism unit that is desperately trying to locate arch-terrorist Abu Ahmed before he can commit another attack. Always popular in Israel, the series recently took off in the United States after it became available on Netflix in November.