Richard Melson

June 2006

Givati Brigade

Givati Brigade:

Givati Brigade insignia

Branch: Army

Type: Infantry

Command: Israeli Southern Command

Current commanders:

Brigadier General Eyal Eizenberg

Brigadier General Yoel Strike

Motto: "With me to Givati", "Any Place, Any Time, Any Mission"

Colors: Purple berets Identification

March: "Mi She-Halam Givati" ("Those who dreamt Givati")

Notable battles or wars: Operation Nechshon,

Operation YoavOperation Rainbow Cloud, Operation Days of Repentance

Notable commanders: Effi Eitam, Imad Fares

The Givati Brigade  is one of the infantry brigades in the Israel Defense Forces.

Since 1999 it serves under the Southern Command (Pikud Darom).

Givati soldiers are designated by purple berets.

The Brigade's symbol is the fox, alluding to Shualei Shimshon

(lit. Samson's Foxes), a unit in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

As of 2006, the Givati brigade is organized into three main battalions:

Shaked, Tzabar, and Rotem,

in addition to associated reconnaissance, engineering, and other units.


The Givati Brigade serves under the Southern Command and currently is deployed in the Gaza Strip. Recently, the Givati Brigade won a medal of honor for its service in the Gaza Strip during the last two years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada under the command of Aluf-Mishne Imad Fares. Under Fares command, the Givati Brigade attained a high reputation in Israel. It carried out thousands of Counter-insurgency operations in the Gaza Strip with great success and low casualties.


The brigade continued its operations in the Gaza Strip, under the command of new Brigadier General Eyal Eizenberg and the new head of Southern Command Dan Harel. Givati's Recon Battalion, attached with Dolev combat engineering platoon and the Beduin scouts battalion, won a recommendation of honor (TZALASH), mainly for their activities against Rafah's smuggling tunnels. Givati forces, combined with a special combat engineering tunnel's unit, and Caterpillar D9 armoured bulldozers, managed to suppress most of Rafah's tunnels.

On May 11 and May 12, two armored personnal carriers of Givati's Dolev engineering battalion, were destroyed by Palestinian militants. The two separate attacks, in Gaza City's Zeitoun neigbourhood and the Philadelphi Route near Rafah and the Egyptian border, claimed the lives of 11 soldiers. Palestinian terrorists of Islamic Jihad, who captured parts of the remains mutilated the bodies and disgraced them.That caused an outrage in Israel, eventually leading to a massive operation in Zeitoun's neigbourhood and Rafah. After international pressure and aggressive Israeli operation in Zeitoun, the bodies of soldier killed in Zeitoun were returned to Israel and were properly buried.

In the Zaitoun incident, UNRWA ambulances were used as transport by healthy Palestinian fighters. A Reuters video shows the incident.. In an interview with Haaretz, Israel's Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz also said that UNRWA's ambulances were used by Palestinian militants in order to smuggle some of the remains of IDF soldiers killed in Zaitoun neigbourhood in Gaza on May 11, 2004. UNRWA has described the May 11 incident as a hijacking.

After two more soldiers were killed in Rafah, Israel launched Operation Rainbow Cloud. This involved which Givati forces reinforced by Golani Brigade soldiers with IDF Achzarit HAPCs, a battlion of officers from the class-commanders school and several Caterpillar D9 armoured bulldozers. The stated aim of Operation Rainbow Cloud was to destroy the terror infrastructure of Rafah, destroy smuggling tunnels and stop illegal missile shipment.

The brigade's Shaked battalion, under the command of a Lt. Col. "Ofer" (surname not publicized) was rocked by scandals in the second half of 2004 while stationed in southern Gaza.

Two of the battalion's four company commanders were removed, although one was later exonerated. Captain "R," a Druze officer was tried for "confirming the kill", or administering a coup de grace on Iman al-Hams, a 13-year-old Palestinian girl, in Rafah in October 2004. Testimony cleared him from all charges. The accusing soldiers admitted that their motive was to remove an officer they considered to be an exceptionally harsh disciplinarian.

Another officer, Captain "N," was removed after Palestinian gunmen infiltrated Morag settlement and killed three soldiers in September 2004.


On September 12,the Givati Brigade left Gaza, one month after the expulsion of approximately 8,000 Jewish settlers living in 22 communities in Gaza. It marked an end of the IDF presence in the Gaza Strip, after 38 years in the region. Today, two battalions are stationed outside the Strip, while the third battalion is positioned on the northern border.

The renewed Givati

In November 1982, on account of the new threats to the security of the state of Israel, and the ensuing Peace in Galilee War in southern Lebanon, the IDF felt the need for additional crack infantry forces. Under the leadership of Colonel Yehuda Duvdevani, the Givati Brigade was re-grouped on June 13,1983. Initially the Brigade was based on the 424th unit of the Shaked Battalion and the 432nd battalion - Tzabar.

The idea was to develop the "new" Brigade on the model of the U.S. Marines with its soldiers skilled in anti-tank warfare, paratrooping and marine amphibious landings. Outstanding Soldiers from other elite units soon joined together to form the crack "Orev" unit and in 1985, the Brigade's reorganization was completed with the establishment of the Rotem Battalion in 1984 and the engineering corps. Throughout the war in Southern Lebanon, the Givati Brigade played a key role in ongoing operations in the Security Zone and in numerous heroic battles against Hezbollah guerrillas.

In 1988, the Tzabar battalion fought numerous battles against terrorists who tried to infiltrate into Israel from the Har Dov area. During the 2 Palestinian uprisings (intifada) the Brigade found itself on the forefront of Israel's' fight against terror.

It was instrumental in thwarting numerous suicide bombing attacks from terrorists who originated from the Gaza area, and fought valiantly in both the recent defensive Shield and Derek Nechosha campaigns against the terrorist infrastructure. Many of Givati's finest soldiers were killed in action by Palestinian sniper fire while protecting civilians and searching for tunnels used to smuggle weapons from Egypt to the Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. In 1999, the Givati Brigade was placed under the command of a formation in the Southern Command.

The Brigade is currently under the command of Colonel Imad Faris, and consists of three platoons (Shaked, Tzabar and Rotem) and three specialized units (Palchan (engineering and explosives), Palsar (elite reconnaissance) and Orev (anti tank warfare)). The Givati Brigade has emerged into a demanding, well-disciplined fighting force, with high-quality recruits, and a reputation for excellence. .

Prisons for Palestinian detainees:

Givati Brigade Israel

June 17, 2006