The Masada Unit
The Masada UnitIPS

Minister Miri Regev has accepted the recommendation of the Prison Service Commissioner and chosen Yaniv Dekel, commander of the Masada Unit, to light the security forces’ bonfire together with representatives of the IDF, ISA, Mossad, and Israel Police on Yom Ha’atzmaut.

Dekel has served for 29 years in the security system, and for the past decade he has commanded the Masada unit in the IPS - a tactical unit that is considered among Israel’s elite forces. It specializes in high-risk operations such as recovering escaped prisoners, VIP protection inside prisons, hostage rescue scenarios, and prison riot control. It operates shoulder to shoulder with special units from the IDF, ISA, Mossad, and Israel Police in all areas.

During the October 7th massacre, Dekel led his subordinates successfully in complex fighting in the western Negev settlements, striving to engage the enemy while under fire, and provided medical care to save a large number of civilians in the area.

The ceremony traditionally includes twelve bonfires, each lit by an individual chosen for representing the nation in an outstanding manner in a particular field. Recent ceremonies have seen the commanders of other elite units, including the IDF’s Duvdevan undercover unit and the Israel Police’s YAMAM National Counterterrorism Unit, honored with lighting one of the fires. In both instances, the honorees wore masks while onstage and omitted from their speech the customary declarations of their names, parents, and home cities.