From Iran to the Armed Forces: She fled to Israel – and joined an intelligence unit

From Iran to the Armed Forces: She fled to Israel – and joined an intelligence unit
From Iran to the Armed Forces: She fled to Israel – and joined an intelligence unit

She fled Iran in the 1980s, walked hundreds of kilometers in extreme cold, escaped the Iranian border guard and wandered in the desert to immigrate to Israel. Today, S. returns to Iran in a slightly different way – through technology, as part of her 9900 unit.

Following the conscription order for the Iranian army that her brother received, S.’s mother decided that she wanted to immigrate to Israel. “It started from the order, but it didn’t really end there,” says S. in retrospect. The Iranian authorities did not accept, to say the least, the attempts to escape Iranian citizens – certainly not the “Zionist entity”.

S.’s family joined a group of families who planned the escape together for many months. In the period before the escape, S. and her family maintained a low profile and very few left their homes. “We tried not to be noticed,” S. said. In the end, months of preparation amounted to the last night they spent with Grandpa. Then came the sheen hour – the escape. They packed some food, some water and realized they were on their way to a journey of hundreds of kilometers, very large parts of which would have to be done on foot – “it’s an inconceivable distance – almost like traveling from Tel Aviv to Eilat twice.”

“Iranians did not receive civilian escape, especially not to Israel” // Photo: AFP,

At first, everything went according to plan, but precisely when it seemed that everything was fine – the difficult moment in her life came. “On a heavy dark night, in the middle of the desert, my father asked us to continue without him. I froze. I was paralyzed. I could not move. How do you continue without him? What will happen to him?” She said. The young S. was not yet ready to say goodbye to her father. “After some deliberation, my mother persuaded my father to continue. It was a moment I will never forget.”

After days and nights of intense travel, with little food and water, S. and her family crossed the Iranian border into a neighboring country. A few days later, they met an Israeli representative who informed them that there was a direct flight to a country in Europe, but not everyone would be able to board it. “It’s a huge dilemma. Are you jumping on the bandwagon and leaving a part behind, or are you taking a risk and waiting for the next flight that no one promises us will arrive?” Told.

After much deliberation, they gave up the flight and decided to wait for the group. Every last day they hoped that today they might be able to reach Israel. It was only after a few weeks that they boarded a flight to Europe, and finally breathed a sigh of relief. It was the first time in the journey that there was no danger of them being caught. But for S., the concern was not removed. “Even when we were outside Iran, we did not have the courage to take off the hijab. The fear was assimilated.”
Eventually, S. and her family immigrated to Israel and managed to overcome the difficulties. S. currently serves in Unit 9900, and is engaged in researching the place she once called home.

Escape through the desert // Photo: Getty images,

It collects the latest intelligence, decodes and recognizes the changes on the ground, knows every comma and every stone in Iran. “I still live in Iran. With the help of advanced technologies, today I can use my knowledge to protect the State of Israel. I appreciate the opportunity to live in Israel every day. This is closing my circle.”

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