Elite Israeli Special Forces Unit Gets First Druze Commander

Original Article

In another victory for coexistence between communities in Israel, one of the IDF’s most elite units will now be commanded by a Druze officer.

Israeli news site N12 reported that Lt. Col. Ayoub Kyuff — currently a commander in the Golani Brigade — has been appointed as the new head of the Shaldag Unit.

Shaldag is an elite unit belonging to the Israeli Air Force that specializes in reconnaissance and commando operations in coordination with aerial forces. It is well known for its rigorous training program, which is the longest in the Israeli military.

It is widely believed that Shaldag was involved in Israel’s destruction of a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, infiltrating Syrian territory and planting devices at the site that allowed the IAF planes to attack it accurately.

Kyuff himself served in Shaldag in the past, and during the Second Lebanon War was an officer in the unit. He was then assigned to Golani, where he served as commander of two units.

Notably, he led the lengthy manhunt for the killer of Golani soldier Amit Ben Ygal, who died in June after being struck by a rock during an operation in the West Bank.