The commander of Sayeret Matkal, Colonel H, will finish his job in two months and, in a rare step, will not continue to serve in the IDF and will retire to civilian service, Yediot Aharonot learned.
The step, whereby the commander of the most elite unit in the IDF does not continue serving in the army, is considered unusual.
Colonel H.'s departure comes a few months after the incident in Khan Yunis, where Lieutenant Colonel M., who served in a special unit and whose picture was not published, was killed. The activity was considered an operational failure.
Up until the current retirement of Colonel H., all the commanders of Sayeret Matkal in the past 23 years had continued with their military service upon completing their term at the helm of the elite unit, whether for one or two positions or up to the rank of major general, such as Hertzi Halevy, the current head of Southern Command, and retiring head of operations Major General Nitzan Alon.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in response: "The commander of the Sayeret Matkal commando unit is a professional, dedicated and respected officer who, for the 26 years of his service, has contributed and continues to contribute to the security of the State of Israel and even has been decorated with an award for operational excellence. Over the past 3 years during which he commanded the unit, the unit carried out many operations and was awarded the Chief of Staff's citation.”
“In the course of his work, he decided to be released upon completion of his position, in order to pursue new personal aspirations not in the realm of security. At the beginning of October 2018, the head of Military Intelligence honored and approved his decision."