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Thread: Everything On The Israeli Unit - Sayeret Duvdevan

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    Default Everything On The Israeli Unit - Sayeret Duvdevan

    Disguising as woman is a long time used tactic in the Israeli SF for two main reasons: the first one is that due to the woman's very low status in the Arab society, a woman can move around freely without getting any undesired attention or harassment, especially if she is wearing a traditional Arab married woman religious clothing. Secondly, the long vales, which are an integral part of the traditional Arab woman clothing, allow the carrying of concealed weapons underneath them.

    In this photo two members of Sayeret Duvdevan seen disguised as a Palestinian couple (woman on the left, man on the right), during a meeting with the former Prime Minister Shimhon Peres. Note that more Sayeret Duvdevan undercover plain cloth operators can be seen sitting and standing in the left side of the photo.

    Sayeret Duvdevan members during the force march that sums up the entire unit's training regime ("Maslul" in Hebrew).

    Two units members (extreme left and extreme right) arresting two terrorists (middle), during an operation. Note right operator with a Sig Sauer P226 - the IDF SF units most common handgun.

    A very unusual photo of Sayeret Duvdevan operators in full military uniforms and gear during the Taibeh operation, March 2000. In this CT operation, that involved six heavily armed and barricaded Palestinians terrorists, the unit acted as a backup and a reinforcement unit to the Takeover unit on the scene - Unit YAMAM.

    The participation of Sayeret Duvdevan in this operation with unit YAMAM, within Israel boarders and not in the Territories, is on the surface surprising, since if unit YAMAM needed a backup it could have easily used each one of the CT qualified civilian SF units rather then an IDF one. This cooperation is therefore a symbol of the strong connection between the two units - many of unit YAMAM operators are former Sayeret Duvdevan. Moreover, another reason for choosing Sayeret Duvdevan to this operation, over civilian SF units, is the superior manpower quality of the Sayeret Duvdevan compares to the civilians ones.

    Note that the middle operator is wearing a water resistant extreme weather suit, and armed with CAR15 fitted with Trijicon ACOG X4 day optic, under-barrel adapter for ITL AIM1/D Infra Red laser pointer and a Surefire Millennium M500 tactical flashlight.

    Three Sayeret Duvdevan soldiers in action during the Israeli-Palestinian clashes in the Territories, November 2000. Middle operator armed with a CAR15/M203 grenade launcher combo and a Surefire Millennium M500 tactical flashlight (mounted on the handguards). Operators on left and right are armed with CAR15. Note that the right operator has a small rail on the top of his helmet for mounting NVG.
    Following are two ironically similar photos resulting from two different operations involving Sayeret Duvdevan.

    In August 16 2000, a Palestinian opened fire without warning on a Sayeret Duvdevan team that was on combat deployment in the Palestinian Surda village, north of the Ramala City. The team returned accurate fire and the Palestinian was killed from a head shot. In this photo the killed person's family follow up his trail of blood.

    Less then two weeks later, in August 27, 2000, a big Sayeret Duvdevan force, composed of several teams, went to capture the number one terrorist in the Territories - Machmhoud Abu-Hanud. Several mistakes were made both in the planning and the execution of this mission, resulting in severe and tragic friendly fire incident. Three Sayeret Duvdevan members killed from the unit's own snipers fire. In this photo, Palestinians cleaning the blood of the three soldiers in a room next to the roof where the soldiers were shot by mistake by their comrades.

    First Sergeant Niv Ya'acoby, one of the three Sayeret Duvdevan soldiers killed in the unit's friendly fire incident, August 2000. The Rama army base, Sayeret Duvdevan home base, is seen in the background. Note that the Rama base is very unique in the sense that it is found right in the unit own AO - the Palestinian City of Ramala - and not in a remote inner Israel location.

    First Sergeant Liron Sharvit (loading a Sig Sauer P228 handgun), one of the three Sayeret Duvdevan soldiers killed in the unit's friendly fire incident, August 2000. The soldiers are seen here during a CT training exercise in Mitkan Adam, the IDF Special Training Center (MAHAM 7208). Note that wearing half civilian clothes (civilian shoes and t-shirts) during CT training, as seen in this photo, is a standard training procedure in the IDF SF units. Originally started as a mean to ease up the training, wearing half-civilian cloths during CT training, and inside the units own bases, has quickly become an Israeli SF status symbol.

    Two Sayeret Duvdevan operators arresting a terrorist in the Territories.

    A Sayeret Duvdevan team in a group photo. The operator in front is holding a RPG7.

    Sayeret Duvdevan operators, both in uniforms and in plain cloths, arresting a terrorist (middle) during a Counter Terror operation in the Territories.

    Training on snatching a terrorist to a car. The terrorist is seen pushed to the car in the back door by an uniformed operator while the rest of team provides cover. Right operator armed with IMI Mini Uzi SMG. All other operators are armed with Sig Sauer P226 handguns.

    Preparing for CT operation in the Territories, applying facial camouflage paint.

    Last minutes planes.

    During combat deployment. All operators armed with CAR15 outfitted with an Elbit Falcon reflex sight. Left soldier equipped with an ITL N/SEAS monocular NVD. Middle soldier equipped with a Litton PVS7 NVG.
    The following photos show Sayeret Duvdevan personnel during CT training in Mitkan Adam. All operators are armed with CAR15, most of them outfitted with an El-Op Eyal 3X20 day optic.

    In typical Arab clothing armed with Sig Sauer P228.

    During range training.

    During CQB training.

    Training with gas masks. Note all weapons fitted with El-Op Eyal 3X20 day optic.

    In typical Arab clothing.

    During range training with Sig Sauer P228.

    During CQB training with Sig Sauer P228.

    Operators and a one of the unit's female soldiers wearing various fake hair additions (wigs, beards, mustaches) used by the unit to pass on as Arabs during undercover mission.

    The unit's paramedics during training.

    Same as above.
    The following photos show Sayeret Duvdevan operators posing in full gear before an operation in the Territories.

    The following two photos show Sayeret Duvdevan team after an operation in the Tel Village, Territories, December 2001.

    The following photos show Sayeret Duvdevan operators storm the Palestinian Authority Chairman - Yasser Arafat - compound in Ramala, 29 March 2002.

    In April 15, 2002 Sayeret Duvdevan captured Marwan Barghouti considered to be among the top wanted terrorists in the Territories. The following photos show the terrorist apprehended by Sayeret Duvdevan operators.

    Sayeret Duvdevan (Unit 217) is the IDF SF undercover unit design to operate in the Territories.

    Table Of Contents:








    Unlike other undercover skilled units, belonging to Israeli intelligence gathering organizations, Sayeret Duvdevan wasn't designed for long term undercover infiltration, but rather for quick surprise, hit and run raids. This unit's nature derives from the unit being a CT oriented unit rather then an intelligence gathering one. Moreover, the rather basic Arab speaking linguistic skills of the unit's operators, as well as the European origin of most of the,, don't allow the execution of such long term undercover missions without exposure.

    Sayeret Duvdevan is also unique in the sense that it's the only unit in the IDF that is a pure CT unit, rather then a hard core LRRP unit with advanced CT capability like most other IDF SF units.

    The deployment of Israeli SF undercover units can be divided into three time frames:





    Israel has a long history in deploying undercover or "Mistaravim" units. Mistaravim is the Hebrew term for becoming an Arab, which means not only to speak and to dress like one, but also to be well familiar with the Arab customs and manners.

    The Israeli Mistaravim history begins even before the official declaration of the Israeli state and the formation of the IDF in 1948.

    In 1936-1948 Israel was under the regime of the British Empire. The Israeli Jews, which were then a small minority in Israel, weren't allowed to establish armed forces and to fight back against the Arab terrorists who regularly attacked them. Instead of an army, the Jews created several underground paramilitary resistance movements and conducted limited war against both the Arab terrorists and the British occupation.

    The biggest such organization was the Hagana ("Defense" in Hebrew. Part of the Hagana were the PALMACH ("Smash Companies" in Hebrew), small companies that were the SF units of their time.

    Several teams from the PALMACH specialized in Mistaravim-type work. Their missions included:

    Operating deep within the Arabs' villages.

    Performing undercover sabotages against the British regime.

    Covertly move weapons between Jewish posts.

    In 1948, Israel gained independence and all the underground organizations were joined together to form the IDF. With the existence of a full fledge army, the need for the Mistaravim teams was no longer valid and they were disbanded. The PALMACH companies followed them shortly, but the experience gathered from this teams as well as the affect they had, weren't forgotten.


    Following numerous terror attacks, which originated from the Gaza *****, the IDF formed Sayeret Rimon, which was the first Israeli dedicated CT unit for the Territories, as well as the first Israeli SF unit to use undercover tactics on a large scale

    Sayeret Rimon insignia.


    In 1987 the Intipada - the Palestine uprising against the Israeli regime in the Territories - broke out. The Intipada was much different from the previous Palestinian resistance in 1970-1971. This time the IDF faced thousands of heavily armed terrorists that enjoyed the full support of the local Palestinians. On the other hand, after years of occupation, Israel's media status wasn't good so deploying full-scale military force was impossible, especially when the Israeli society was struggling within itself on the Intifada legitimacy.

    At first the IDF decided to use traditional SF tactics, which turn out to be a complete failure. In daytime when the Israeli units tried to perform an operation they soon found themselves in the middle of a violent civilian riot, which they weren't equipped nor trained to handle. The target was, of course, long gone.

    In nighttime the situation wasn't much different. The incoming soldiers could be identified from miles away by their unique weapons and uniforms. When the finally arrived they usually found an empty house. The need for a Mistaravim like unit, that could perform fast and effective SF missions deep in the Territories, rose up again.

    Unlike in the 1940's when the Mistaravim were used more as an intelligence gathering tool and to covertly move weapons and equipment around, the new Mistaravim units were built as pure CT units.

    When the Mistaravim units were recreated in the late 80's the experience from the PALMACH Mistaravim teams was put into use.

    The IDF was the first to create Mistaravim units, and formed two units each operating in a different AO:

    Sayeret Shimshon (Unit 367), which operated in the Gaza ***** AO.

    Sayeret Duvdevan (Unit 217), which operates in the Judah and Samaria AO.

    Although the two IDF Mistaravim units were sister like units and almost completely identical, they were divided into two separate units since each region has it's own unique families, manners and customs with whom the soldiers must be fully familiar with.

    Sayeret Shimshon insignia, based on the famous biblical story of the Jewish Samson ("Shimshon", in Hebrew), which was placed in jail by Philistines. Shimshon then pushed the prison walls, resulting in the collapsing of the structure killing both himself and his Philistines guards.

    Soon afterwards the Israeli Border Guard created its own three units:

    Gaza ***** Unit YAMAS.

    Judah and Samaria Unit YAMAS.

    Jerusalem Unit YAMAS (formed in 1993).

    The last Israeli security organization to form a Mistaravim unit was the Israeli Police, which formed its Unit Gideonim, operating in the Jerusalem AO in 1994.

    Like in most other cases, in which a new IDF SF unit was born, each Mistaravim unit was made of one integral, active duty, team from one of the infantry Sayerets as well as dropouts from the IDF elite units.

    Since the IDF needed these units combat operational as soon as possible and also had to give them a formidable CT capability due to their very delicate operations in the middle of civilian population, many of the first units' officers were former officers of Shayetet 13 - the IDF elite Naval Commando unit.

    Under these officers' guidance and with generous resources, the Mistaravim were operationally ready in less than one year, and acquired a fearsome CT capability.

    The existence of Mistaravim units was made publicly known in January 1992 in a very detailed television special. The program lead many IDF SF operatives to the belief that the IDF High Command, many of whom being former members of elite units, authorized this TV special in order to present the Mistaravim as just "regular" SF rather then "elite" SF units like their former units were.

    In 1994, due to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks held in Oslo, Norway, the Gaza ***** became an official Palestinian Territory, in which the Israeli forces weren't allowed to enter and operate. As a result, the Sayeret Shimshon was disbanded, many of its members forming the new Sayeret Egoz. Sayeret Duvdevan remained active in the Territory, and is currently the primary IDF CT unit there.

    A memorial monument for the four Sayeret Shimshon soldiers that were killed in the line of duty. The monument is located in the Negev desert.

    Note: in the 1990's, the IDF created five conventional dedicated Territories infantry battalions. In an effort to give these battalions a good head start and to boost up soldiers' morale, three of the new battalions were named after historic Israeli IDF SF units - Shimshon, Haruv and Ducifhat. However, other then their names these battalions are not considered as SF units.

    Unlike most other IDF SF units that have a 20 months training period, Sayeret Duvdevan only has 15 months. The reason for this gap is that there is no need to train the soldiers for months and months in LRRP and in open field navigation.

    Instead, Sayeret Duvdevan does open field navigation exercises only for a month, while most of their navigation exercises are dedicated to real time photos navigation. These photos taken by satellites or airplanes, allow Sayeret Duvdevan to plan its approach to the raid area as well as its gateway ones the operation is completed.

    Training phases:

    Four months basic infantry training in the Mitkan Adam army base - the IDF Special Training Center.

    Two and a half months of advanced infantry training in the same base.

    Two months unit's basic training, which focus on advance urban navigation exercises and the beginning of CT training.

    Five weeks CT course in IDF Counter Terror Warfare School in Mitkan Adam.

    One month advanced inner-unit CT training with the unit's own instructors.

    Four months Mistaravim course, which covers everything from learning the Arabs' traditions, language and their way of thought to civilian camouflage (hair dying, contact lenses, Arabs' clothing).

    One-month courses - sniper, driving and different instructors courses.

    The rest of the time is devoted to advanced urban combat techniques

    Because of the daily contact with civilians, the unit place special focus on Contact Combat - the IDF famous Martial Art technique. The mastering of this subject allows Sayeret Duvdevan to minimize the use of live fire on standby civilians who get involved


    Primary Weapon - Sayeret Duvdevan was originally one of the primary end users of the IDF Sawn Off CAR15 having an sub 10 inch barrel. However, these extremely short home made sawn off barrels were cut too short resulting in low gas pressure and spondaic operation. So, in the 1990's the Sawn Off CAR15 went out of service in the unit and today Sayeret Duvdevan deploys the standard 14.5 inch barrel CAR15, just like every other IDF infantry orientated unit.

    Also used by Sayeret Duvdevan are the IMI micro and Mini Uzi SMG.

    Secondary Weapon - the standard handgun is the Sig Sauer P226.

    During operations, each team will carry at least one suppressed handgun used to kill dogs during the mission, as the Territories are filled with dogs.

    SWS - the unit deploys primarily the Mauser SR86 and Mauser SP66 SWS, as well as some Sirkis M36 - a unique bullpup version of the M14.

    Quite surprising, Sayeret Duvdevan rarely uses Arab-issued weapons in order to avoid identity and friendly fire mistakes.

    Sayeret Duvdevan has a large variety of civilians vehicles complete with forged license plates that match those of real Palestinians cars (with the exact model and colors in order to pass a superficial check). The cars looks like regular old cars on the outside, but all the inner systems are enhanced and improved. The vehicles also contain hidden cashes in which weapons and their equipment can be hidden.

    Over the years, the success of the IDF two Mistaravim units' was amazing. The units conducted thousands of operations and killed or capture hundreds of terrorists. Since most of the Wanted were killed rather then captured alive, the Mistaravim gained reputation as assassination units. This reputation is only partly true. Most of the terrorists were fanatic, deeply religious people who preferred fighting to the death and becoming martyrs than surrendering themselves to the Israeli forces. On the hand, the Mistaravim did had light trigger finger, especially compared to other SF units.

    In 1989-1994, the hot years of the Intipada, almost not a single day went with out one of the units or both of them performing an operation. This incredible, almost wartime rate of missions lead to the fact that the Mistaravim were then the units with the highest number of combat missions in the entire IDF.

    This amazing missions' rate had its price. Many of the Mistaravim graduates finished their three years IDF mandatory service with severe psychological and physical damage. Broken ribs, smashed noses, head concussions and other injuries had become almost a daily routine in the units' Contact Combat training. Moreover, out of 10 CO the units had to this date, no less then eight CO were either court marshaled or had to leave their command due to excessive, unnecessary force against Palestinian civilians.

    Many of the unit's graduates, not finding their place in low adrenaline civilian life, volunteered for Unit YAMAM - the Israeli domestic CT and hostage rescue unit.

    The Mistaravim units were very unorganized units. At some point, enjoying the huge IDF credit, the Mistaravim even began to plan and execute their own missions, sometimes without asking for authorization, or even notifying anybody else. These kind of free enterprises lead, in some cases, to unintentional live fire combats between the Mistaravim teams and other Israeli SF units on missions in the same AO.

    Beside of the actual killing and capturing of the terrorists, the Mistaravim also had a tremendous psychological affect on the terrorists. The Mistaravim often operated in broad daylight in heavy populated places, killing or snatching the terrors into cars, making no place secure. In some cases the units also acted as an Engagement and backup units for other forces, primarily for Unit YAMAM.

    In 1992-1993, when the Palestinian police and the Palestinian internal Security Service started working in the Territories in large scale, the Mistaravim operations became even more confusing to the locals Palestinians. In many cases when the Mistaravim performed an operation to capture a terrorists, the locals thought the soldiers in disguise were actually Palestinian security personnel apprehending Israeli collaborators or Israeli spies, and even started cheering at the Mistaravim soldiers. The fact that Palestinian security personnel often-used western weapons and not the traditional (Palestinian/Arab issued) AK47, also helped to this identity mistake.

    Till today, four members of Sayeret Duvdevan were killed in two separated friendly fire incidents. One operator was killed in 1992, and three others were killed in August 2000, in a fail operation to capture the number one terrorist in the Territories - Machmoud Abu Hanud.

    Today, due to the escalation in the LIC in the Territories, Sayeret Duvdevan is the IDF busiest SF unit, and conducts more then 200 operations per year. Some operations are in uniforms other are in plain clothes. Sometimes several teams from the unit operate simultaneously in different areas.

    Unmarked vehicle used by the unit for raids.

    After the fiasco in August 2000, in which three of the unit's operators were killed by fellow unit snipers, the IDF conducted long due work on the status of the unit and how to upgrade it.

    The recommendations, which were implemented in 2001, were as follow:

    The unit's training regime will be longer - 15 months instead 13 months as before. Over the years this relatively short training regime of Sayeret Duvdevan has been largely criticized as insufficient, especially due to the unit's very complex and intense combat deployment. The length of the unit training regime deign to produce better trained soldiers, especially since later on they will hardly had time to train in an orderly fashion.

    The unit will form a new inner-unit Undercover School with permanent stuff instead of each team training its own members.

    The unit will place greater focus on urban CT sniping.

    The selection to the unit will be much more carefully. Today, in order to be accepted to the unit one must first undergone two selections series (Gibush):

    A T'zanhanim infantry brigade Gibush held before the soldier's recruitment to the IDF. In this Gibush Sayeret Duvdevan will have priority over the T'zanhanim infantry brigade in getting the best manpower.

    A Sayeret Duvdevan Gibush held shortly after the soldier's recruitment.
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  2. #2
    I like the pain Pook2's Avatar
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    Well, for those of us without a subscription, this thread involved a lot of clicking.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pook2
    Well, for those of us without a subscription, this thread involved a lot of clicking.
    Yes, be sure that I clicked a lot... a lot.
    But that's for good target isn't it?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Luno's Avatar
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    Wow 49 clicks later and the only thing I see is allot off red X
    and i have to click 49 times again when i post this replay

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by B.B
    Quote Originally Posted by Pook2
    Well, for those of us without a subscription, this thread involved a lot of clicking.
    Yes, be sure that I clicked a lot... a lot.
    But that's for good target isn't it?
    B.B none of us can see the pics you posted as we are not members of the site.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2004


    Me to not member of this site, maybe that's connects to the to your internet connection.
    This is an Israeli site:

    Tell me please if he works.

  7. #7
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    Wales, Great Britain


    Non-Israeli connections require a subscription. B.B, you should host the images on a freehost such as

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