After Tuesday’s deadly attack in which four Jews were murdered in Samaria, the Israeli security forces had to react quickly. The special unit codenamed “Tequila” was sent to find and eliminate the terrorist who got away.
Tequila is an elite undercover unit of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). According to Shin Bet director Ronen Bar, the unit is seen as a last resort in stopping a terrorist who is already preparing to launch an attack. In the last year, the unit has been deployed a total of 14 times, according to Bar.
Of course, very little is known publicly about Tequila and its operators. But surveillance camera footage from this week’s attack revealed how they took out the terrorist at large.
The clip showed the taxi in which the terrorist had fled the scene suddenly encircled by what appear to be several Palestinian Arab vehicles. But then masked Israeli operators suddenly emerge and open fire on the taxi.
The Israeli special forces were able to sneak up on their prey by using inconspicuous Arab cars. They didn’t ask any questions or try to make an arrest. Operating in the middle of Palestinian-controlled territory, they don’t have much time. You have to eliminate your target and get away as quickly as possible.
The unit was formed during the Second Intifada when an immediate response was needed to the numerous suicide bombings that characterized the period.
According to senior Israel Police officials, Tequila now cooperates extensively with other police units, particularly with YAMAM, an elite Border Police covert counter-terrorism unit.
Tequila’s main asset is their constant operational readiness, embedded deep in Palestinian-controlled territory, and the speed and accuracy of the information they receive in real time from Shin Bet’s command centers. This enables Tequila to track down and neutralize terrorists en route to an attack, or track a fleeing terrorist with the latest intel.
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