The unit has been historically “responsible for saving the lives of dozens and hundreds of Israelis, most of whom are not even aware that they were in danger,” said Israel’s Public Security Minister.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett officially announced that Israel’s Police Counter-Terrorism Unit will now be reclassified as the Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit, in line with the unit’s operational capabilities and historical accomplishments.
“I am pleased to announce here today that I have decided to define the Police Counter-Terrorism Unit as Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit,” said Bennett at a ceremony on Wednesday marking the new designation.
“The decision will be submitted to the Security Cabinet soon. My goal is that the unit will be the best counter-terrorism unit in the world, and you are the right people for the job. For 47 years you have been the unit.”
Bennett said that the unit has “a range of abilities and unique means in the fight against terrorism and complex criminal incidents” and played a significant role in supporting “the operational activity of the Israel Police and the special forces.”
He said the unit had participated in high-profile missions, including “rescuing hostages along conventional and less conventional lines, fighting against terrorism and its infrastructures, and the ability to carry out high-risk arrests, and in the world of serious crime.”
The unit has worked with Israel’s most storied security and intelligence agencies, including the IDF, the ISA and the Mossad, Bennett added.
“The declaration of the Police Counter-Terrorism Unit as the Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit should have been done a long time ago, and we are here to do it – better late than never,” said Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev.
“The National Counter-Terrorism Unit is currently at the forefront of the operational activities of the Israel Police, the IDF and the ISA, of the national security of the State of Israel, and is required for the most complex and important operations carried out.”
“Every year, its members are directly responsible for saving the lives of dozens and hundreds of Israelis, most of whom are not even aware that they were in danger. I thank the Prime Minister for the important decision that will help improve the security of the country’s citizens and do great justice by its very nature.”