- "Givati" redirects here. For the moshav, see Giv'ati.
The Givati Brigade
(חטיבת גבעתי) Functions as the amphibious force
and is one of the infantry brigades
in the Israel Defense Forces
. Givati soldiers are designated by purple berets. The Brigade's symbol is the fox, alluding to Shualei Shimshon
(שועלי שמשון, lit. Samson
's Foxes), a unit in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
- 52nd Battalion fought in 1948 war
- 424th "Shaked"/"Almond" Infantry Battalion
- 432nd "Tzabar"/"Cactus" Infantry Battalion
- 435th "Rotem"/"Furze" Infantry Battalion
- 846th "Shualey Shimshon"/"Samson's Foxes" Special Troops Battalion
- "Dikla"/"Palm" Anti-Tank Company
- "Dolev" Engineer Company
- "Shualey Shimshon"/"Samson's Foxes" Reconnaissance Company
- "Maor" Signal Company
The Givati formed in December 1948 and placed under the command of Shimon Avidan
. Before that it participated in Operation Yoav
(October 15-22, 1948). Its role was to capture the areas of Hulikat
and the junction which is today known as the Givati Junction
. Later it was disbanded.
Military operations during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War in which the Givati Brigade participated
The Givati was reestablished as a mechanized infantry brigade and then proceeded on to amphibious warfare in 1983. Since 1999 it serves under the Southern Command
The Givati Brigade served under the Southern Command and was deployed in the Gaza Strip
. The Brigade was awarded 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 reputation for excellence after carrying 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 Bedouin
scouts battalion, won a recommendation of honor
, 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 neighbourhood and the Philadelphi Route near Rafah and the Egyptian border, claimed the lives of 11 soldiers. Palestinian terrorists of Islamic Jihad captured parts of the remains mutilated the bodies and disgraced them. This caused an outrage in Israel, eventually leading to a massive operation in Zeitoun's neighbourhood and Rafah. After international pressure and aggressive Israeli operation in Zeitoun, the bodies of soldiers killed in Zeitoun were returned to Israel and were properly buried.
In the Zeitoun 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 neighbourhood 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. This involved 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 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 the southern Gaza Strip.
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 grâce on Iman al-Hams, a 13-year-old Palestinian girl, in Rafah in October 2004. Captain "R" was acquitted of all charges by a military court.
Another officer, Captain "N", was removed after Palestinian gunmen infiltrated the Morag settlement and killed three soldiers in September 2004.
On September 12, the Givati Brigade left the Gaza Strip as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
, one month after the evacuation of approximately 8,000 Jewish settlers living in 22 communities in the Strip. It marked an end to the 38 year IDF presence in the Gaza Strip. Today, two battalions are stationed outside the Strip, while the third battalion is positioned on the northern border.
On June 27, in response to Hamas' kidnapping of Corporal Gilad Shalit
, the IDF started an offensive in the Gaza Strip to repel the continuous rockets being fired into the Israeli town outside of Gaza and to pressure Hamas to release Shalit. Givati, together with the Golani Brigade, Engineering Corps and the Armored Corps, participated in Operation "Summer Rains."
Israel's counterterrorism activities in the strip were successful, with a decrease in Palestinian shelling from Northern Gaza and killing close to 300 terrorists and wounding close to 1,000 terrorists. However, Israel failed to achieve the release of Shalit, and a November 26 ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinian groups forced Israel to withdraw its forces.
Captain "R", the former Misayat Shaked company commander falsely accused of "confirming the kill" of 13-year -old Palestinian girl Iman al-Hams in Rafah in October 2004, receives NIS 80,000 in compensation from the state, according to a December 14 Ha'aretz report.
As of 2007, the Givati brigade is organized into three main battalions: Shaked, Tzabar, and Rotem, in addition to associated reconnaissance
, and other units.
Givati brigade participated in Operation Hot Winter
- Official site http://www.givati.org.il/