Public Transportation Special Units

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Following a series of severe suicide attacks in or around Israeli busses in the 1990's, the Israeli Police formed special units to protect public transportation against such attacks and provide first response when needed.

From the late 1990's to the early 2000s, several Public Transportation special units were formed, most notably Yoav in the Northern District and Horev in the Tel Aviv District. The units were disbanded in the late 2000's.

The units were deployed in central bus stations and along main public transportation routes in two capacities:

  • Overtly - patrolling in full gear to deter terrorists from entering the perimeter as well as to provide tactical response when needed. Other activities involved deploying bomb sniffing dogs and mobile x-ray devices for weapons and explosives detection.

  • Covertly - deploying inside central bus stations and in nearby streets wearing plain cloths and carrying concealed handguns. The covert operators' role was to detect potential terrorists before they enter the stations, and or follow them inside the buses.

As with most Law Enforcement SF units, the Public Transportation units' personnel were IDF combat units veterans, with preference to SF experience.

The units also specialized in buses hostage rescue and passed an intensive few months long counter terror course with YAMAM instructors, so they can act as first responders.

Aside from their counter terrorism role, the Public Transportation special units helped reduce crime by preventing drugs and weapons smuggling in public transportation.

One of these units' uniqueness was that they accepted parttime volunteers from the Israeli Civil Guard.

Disbanded Units Guide