In 2001, Vanity Fair called it "the most effective counterterrorism force in the world." Past operations in Entebbe, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan - and who knows where else - have made it legendary.
It is not, however, a legend of the past. Remaining active, it continues to play a key role in Israel's self-defense.
A division of the IDF, Sayeret Matkal, was awarded the Chief of Staff Citation on Wednesday for the second time in the past year.
The decoration was granted to the unit by Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, who also awarded a certificate of recognition to the Special Operations command, the intelligence unit attached to the Special Operations Command, and to the Military Intelligence Directorate's technological unit.
Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi, former Sayeret Matkal commander and current director of Military Intelligence, also attended the ceremony.
"The synergy between intelligence, technology and operational capability contributes immensely [to Israel's security]," Halevi said.
Eizenkot added, "The foundation for everything is the people. They are reason that we are meeting here today, to recognize the integration between creative thinking, wisdom and daring. This enterprise requires vision and leadership that strives to reach new heights."
Sayeret Matkal also received the Chief of Staff Citation in March.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the unit received the citation "due to daring and clandestine operations."
For more about Sayeret Matkal, click here.
This is an expanded version of the original article published by Israel Hayom at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=38053