Givati is an infantry brigade in the Israeli occupation army, established in late 1947 by the Haganah organization, and then became part of the occupation army. It belongs to the Steel Division, an armored division of the Southern Command.

The brigade is headed by a lieutenant colonel and is one of the army's elite brigades and is stationed around the Gaza Strip. Participated in the ground incursions into the Gaza Strip in 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2023.


Established in 1920 and formed the first nucleus of the occupation army, the Haganah Organization was a military organization aimed at occupying the Palestinian territories, settling Jews there, and training its members in guarding and defending settlements, among other matters that contribute to the occupation of the State of Palestine.

Working in cooperation with the British Mandate authorities, the organization allowed it to establish a 22,1936-strong armed military force to eliminate Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian revolution of <>.

By the imminent proclamation of the State of Israel in 1948, the Haganah had established an organized and armed army, with special forces known as the Palmah or the Thunderbolt Brigades.

Givati Brigade participated in the killing, displacement and occupation of Palestinian cities in the Nakba in 1948 (Getty Images)

At the end of 1947, the Haganah Organization established 4 brigades affiliated to it, and then became 6 brigades, including "Brigade No. 5" in the Tel Aviv area, which is the former name of the Givati Brigade, and the leadership of the organization assigned the veteran commander in it and in the Thunderbolt Brigades "Shimon Avidan" to establish the brigade, and the name "Givati" was the secret name of Shimon Avidan, so the brigade bore his name.

When the formation of the Israeli occupation army was announced in Tel Aviv a few days after the proclamation of the State of Israel, the brigade became one of the army's brigades, and the number of regular members increased with the joining of a number of soldiers and recruits.

When the Palestinian Nakba occurred in 1948, the brigade participated in the killing and displacement of Palestinians and the occupation of their cities, carrying out reprisals against the villages of Tel al-Rish in Jaffa, participating in battles aimed at occupying Jaffa and the surrounding villages, clashing with Arab rebels in the battle of Hatikva, and participating in the displacement of Palestinian villages launched by the Haganah, namely:

  • Operation Maccabi, which began on May 8, 1948, aimed to occupy Palestinian villages between the cities of Ramle and Latrun.
  • Operation Nahshon took place between April 5 and 15, 1948.
  • Operation Harel, which took place between April 15 and 20, was aimed at occupying Palestinian villages along the Jerusalem-Jaffa road.
  • Operation Barak took place between May 9 and 13, 1948, and aimed to occupy villages south and west of Ramle, with the aim of clearing the southern and western outskirts of their areas of control.

The Givati Brigade participated in the 1967 war and concentrated its participation in the Nablus Mountains and surrounding hills (Getty Images)

A brigade division called the "Foxes of the Sun" participated in repelling the attack of the Egyptian forces and preventing them from taking control of the settlement of "Negia", as a result of which the fox took as a symbol of the brigade.

The brigade fought in the northern Negev under the command of Yehuda Walach, and the brigade's mission was to control several areas in the Negev, including a junction later known as the Givati Junction.

In September of the same year, a parade was held for army brigades, which participated in the occupation of the southern and Negev regions, including the Givati Brigade.

After nearly 10 years of the establishment of the brigade, a decision was issued to dissolve it, and three months later, the IDF leadership decided to reconstitute it under the name "3th Brigade", and then it was renamed "Givati", and then it was transferred to the Fifth Brigade to be part of the reserve brigades.

Givati was a reserve brigade in the 1967 war, concentrated in the Nablus Mountains and surrounding hills as far as the Jordan River. He also participated in the October 1973 war and confronted the Egyptian army.

The brigade remained in this form until the November 1982 Lebanon War, when IDF Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan ordered the brigade to be re-established, as the army needed an additional infantry force, and the brigade's tasks focused on security operations, border patrols, and securing IDF positions in Lebanon.

The brigade was stationed on the Lebanese border and in the Gaza Strip, but after Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, it became part of the Southern Command and is stationed only in the Gaza Strip.

Givati Brigade Sections

The Givati Brigade is divided into a group of units and battalions operating in it, and its units and battalions are characterized by bearing names and not numbers, as is customary with the rest of the brigades, and the brigade's sections are:

Shaked Battalion

The 424th Infantry Battalion, which began in 1955 as an elite unit of the Israeli army, recruited as volunteers, and whose main objective was to protect the Israeli-Egyptian border. As for the name "Shaked" meaning to protect the southern border, the battalion was later organized and enacted its own laws and officially took the form of a battalion in 1984 to be the first battalion in the Givati Brigade.

It consists of 5 companies, namely the Command, the Track Company, the Infantry Rifle Company, one of the Army Vanguard Company, the Support Company and the Operations Company. The battalion has a special badge with the symbol of a two-wing drawing.

Battalion "Tsapar"

It is the 432nd Battalion, its name derives from the desert cactus plant, and the preparation period to join this Koutoubia is 4 months for the new soldier, followed by two months for advanced training. The battalion participated in various combat operations, but after the second intifada in 2000 it concentrated its work in the Gaza Strip.

Soldiers from the Givati Brigade during an open-ended combat exercise in the Negev desert in 2011 (French)

Rotem Battalion

It is the 435th Infantry Battalion. It was established as part of the Givati Brigade in the eighties of the 20th century, and was named after one of the desert plants that is fixed in the soil.

Reconnaissance Battalion "Shulay Shimson"

It is the 846th Special Forces Battalion, divided into:

  • Unit "Urev", a company specialized in anti-armor weapons.
  • Unit "Balchin" and works in the field of military engineering.
  • Reconnaissance unit "Balsar".
  • Unit "Balczech" for private communications.


When the brigade was established, its fighters wore black hats and brown shoes, then their dress changed color to black shoes, and a purple or purple hat, and the daughter of the brigade commander, Yehuda Dovdvani, chose the color when her father asked her what color she preferred.

Logo of the Givati Brigade (Al Jazeera)

Banner emblem

The brigade's logo represents an image of a cactus plant in the desert, with a sword in the middle surrounded by a red fox, indicating that the brigade is like a cactus living in the desert, and that it is "like foxes" capable of evasion and deception.

Shalit's capture operation

One of the most famous operations targeting the Givati Brigade by the Palestinian resistance occurred on June 25, 2006, when resistance fighters from several Palestinian factions infiltrated through a tunnel they dug under the military border post and surprised an Israeli armored force from the Givati Brigade that was guarding at night, killing two soldiers, wounding five others, and capturing soldier Gilad Shalit. Which was freed after 5 years with a major exchange deal called the "Wafaa Al-Ahrar Deal".

An Israeli soldier from the Givati Brigade carries his equipment after returning from Gaza on August 4, 2014 (Reuters)

Participation in the wars on Gaza

The brigade participated in the ground incursions launched by the Israeli occupation forces against Gaza City, namely:

War of 2008-2009

Israel called Operation Cast Lead and the resistance called the "Battle of Al-Furqan", and the participation of the Givati Brigade in the second phase of the offensive, which followed the aerial bombardment phase.

The second phase began on January 3, 2009 in the afternoon with artillery cover, followed by a ground invasion carried out by the Parachute Brigades, Givati, Golani and the 410th Armored Brigade, with support from the rest of the engineering and intelligence units, in addition to artillery, and the number of soldiers participating in the storming was 10,<>.

Twenty-three days after the Israeli offensive began, the parties reached a ceasefire agreement on January 23, 18, and Israeli forces completed their withdrawal on January 2009, 21.

A photo from the training of Givati soldiers in the Negev desert in 2014 (European News Agency)

War 2014

The Givati Brigade participated in the second phase of the "Protective Edge" war, which the resistance called the "Battle of Eaten Storm", when Israeli occupation forces launched an all-out attack on the Gaza Strip in July 2014, starting with air and artillery bombardment in the first phase, and then a ground invasion in the second phase.

The ground invasion was carried out by the 36th Armored Division with its brigades, the 162nd Division with its brigades and the 643rd Gaza Regional Division with its brigades, including the Givati Brigade.

Among the war crimes committed by the brigade in this war was the siege of the agricultural village of Khuza'a, which is located near Khan Yunis, and then members of the brigade entered it and prevented residents from leaving it despite the lack of necessities of life in it, including food and water.

On July 31, 2014, a 72-hour ceasefire was announced starting on August 1, but Israel announced that the ceasefire did not include searching for tunnels: Israeli soldiers encountered Palestinian resistance fighters coming out of a tunnel and tried to attack them and a clash resulted in the death of two Givati Brigade soldiers and the capture of a third.

Israel activated the so-called Hannibal Protocol, and its forces entered the tunnel to try to reach the resistance, in addition to firing at least 2000,<> rockets and shells at nearby neighborhoods, killing many civilians trying to escape.

Givati Brigade participated in several Israeli wars on the Gaza Strip (European News Agency)

Several hours after the incident, the army announced that Hadar Golden of the Givati Brigade, a second lieutenant, had been missing and captured, but 38 hours later his family was informed that he had been killed.

War 2023

The Givati Brigade participated in the war launched by the Israeli occupation forces on the Gaza Strip following the battle of "Al-Aqsa Flood" fought by the resistance men against Israel.

The brigade's participation in the second phase of the war was concentrated as usual, as the brigade was among the forces that invaded the Gaza Strip in a ground offensive, and a number of its soldiers were killed according to Israel's confessions.

In early November 2023, the Israeli army announced the death of 9 of its soldiers, including 7 from the Givati Brigade, who were in the "Tiger" armored vehicle, after it was targeted by the Qassam Brigades with a Kornet guided missile.

A few days later, it was announced that three soldiers from the Givati Brigade had been killed, without explaining how they were targeted.


In July 2005, the Israeli newspaper Maariv revealed a new case of suicide among the IDF, the 20th from the beginning of 2005 until July.

The newspaper explained that the suicide was a soldier from the Givati Brigade, and that he shot himself during his vacation on Saturday at his home.

In 2015, the Israeli news website Walla published a report explaining the increase in suicides among the Israeli army in 2013 and 2014, and the site stated that most of the suicides were from the Givati Brigade.

In September 2016, the same newspaper reported that there was an investigation into the suicide of three soldiers from the brigade, and the report talked about psychological problems suffered by soldiers as a result of their participation in the ground invasion of Gaza in 3.

In 2022, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth published a report on suicides in the Israeli army, revealing the suicide of a soldier from the Givati Brigade in 2020, Neve Lopaton, as he was found dead outside his base.

Former commander of the Givati Brigade Ilan Malka (Israeli press)

Violations and crimes

During the 2008-2009 Gaza invasion, former commander of the former Givati Brigade, Ilan Malka ordered his soldiers on January 5, 2009, to bomb a building housing members of the Samouni family.

The Israeli newspaper "Amira Hesse" reports that the army forces noticed the presence of civilians transporting wood for heating, but the soldiers of the brigade shelled them by order of a king under the pretext that what they were carrying were rocket-propelled grenades.

The commander was not prosecuted for his act, but several years later he was appointed head of the Israel Prison Service and promoted to the rank of major general.

In 2019, a sniper from the Givati Brigade was sentenced to one month in prison and service for killing a Palestinian child near the Gaza Strip, charged with "failing to comply with instructions."

Othman Hiles, a 15-year-old child, was targeted by the soldier during the return marches on the Gaza border on 13 July 2018. The soldier's sentence included a month in prison and demotion.